NGC 2683, UFO Galaxy

NGC 2683
NGC 2683: Galaxy in Lynx; 500 mm Cassegrain f/7.2; SBIG STL11K; 60-25-25-25 min LRGB; Bernese Highlands; © 2011 Radek Chromik


The galaxy was discovered by William Herschel on February 5, 1788 using his selfmade 18.7 inch reflecting telescope. He cataloged it as I 200 and described it as follows: «Very brilliant, much elongated, south preceding north following, 8' long 3' broad beautiful.» [464] John L. E. Dreyer cataloged the galaxy then as NGC 2683 in his «New General Catalogue» of 1888. [313] Due to its resemblance of a flying saucer, it got the nickname «UFO Galaxy».

Physical Properties

NGC 2683 is galaxy seen almost edge-on. Spectroscopic and photometric observations have shown, that it has a central bar which is 6° away from the galaxy's major axis. One can see the delicate dusty lanes of the spiral arms silhouetted against the galaxy's core. Brilliant clusters of young blue stars shine scattered throughout the disc, mapping the galaxy’s star-forming regions. [517, 518] Measured distances are ranging from 7.5 Mpc to 12.4 Mpc (24 to 40 million light years). [145]

NGC 2683
NGC 2683: Image taken with Hubble Space Telescope [517]
«Revised New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue» Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke, 2021 [277]
DesignationNGC 2683
TypeGx (Sb)
Right Ascension08h 52m 41.3s
Declination+33° 25' 12"
Diameter9.30 × 2.1 arcmin
Photographic (blue) magnitude10.6 mag
Visual magnitude9.8 mag
Surface brightness12.9 mag·arcmin-2
Position angle44°
Distance derived from z5.8 Mpc
Metric Distance10.18 Mpc
Dreyer DescriptionvB, vL, vmE 39°, gmbM
IdentificationUGC 4641, MCG 6-20-11, CGCG 180-17, KUG 0849+336

Finder Chart

The Galaxy NGC 2683 can be found in constellation Lynx. The best observation time is November through April, when it is highest in the night sky.

Chart NGC 2683
Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]


145SIMBAD astronomical database;
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)
313«A New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars, being the Catalogue of the late Sir John F.W. Herschel, Bart., revised, corrected, and enlarged» Dreyer, J. L. E. (1888); Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society. 49: 1–237; Bibcode:1888MmRAS..49....1D
464«Catalogue of a second thousand of new nebulae and clusters of stars; with a few introductory remarks on the construction of the heavens» William Herschel, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1 January 1789; DOI:10.1098/rstl.1789.0021
517Hubble spies a UFO; (2022-05-01)
518«Kinematic and Photometric Evidence for a Bar in NGC 2683» Rachel Kuzio de Naray, Matthew J. Zagursky, and Stacy S. McGaugh; The Astronomical Journal, Volume 138, Number 4, 2009; DOI:10.1088/0004-6256/138/4/1082