Perseus A (NGC 1275) + Perseus Galaxy Cluster

Perseus A (NGC 1275)
Perseus A (NGC 1275): Image taken with Hubble Space Telescope © NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration; Acknowledgment: A. Fabian (Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK) [261]

History

On 17 October 1786 William Herschel sweeped the sky using his 18.7 inch reflecting telescope and found an object which he classified as a «faint nebula» and cataloged it as II 603 (NGC 1275) with the remarks: «pretty bright, stellar or pretty considerable stars with small, very faint chevelure.» In the same night he listed two more «very faint nebulae» III 574 (NGC 1293) and III 575 (NGC 1294). He wrote: «Two. Both very faint, stellar, very little brighter in the middle but the southernmost is the brightest and largest.» [464]

John Herschel observed the three nebulae of his father on 18 September 1828 (sweep 182) and measured accurate positions. He listed them in his «Slough Catalogue» as 293, 294 and 295. [466] On 16 December 1848 George Johnstone Stone, assistant at Birr Castle, observed that area using the giant 72 inch reflector of Lord Rosse and noted: «A multitude of nebs. knots in the neighborhood, principally preceding; counted 15; many more.» [364] In the following years many more members joined this group of galaxies: [277]

  • Heinrich Ludwig d'Arrest contributed six galaxies (NGC 1267, 1268, 1270, 1272, 1273, 1278) discovered on 14 February 1863 using the 11 inch f/17.5 Merz refractor at Copenhagen Observatory.
  • Guillaume Bigourdan found seven galaxies (NGC 1259, 1260, 1264, 1282, 1283, 1265 1271) from 19 October through 14 November 1884 using the 12.4 inch refractor at Paris Observatory. IC 1905 was a misclassification of three close stars.
  • Lawrence Parsons, 4th Earl of Rosse found two galaxies (NGC 1274, 1277) on 4 December 1875 using the 72 inch reflector at Birr Castle of his father (Lord Rosse).
  • Johann Louis Emil Dreyer found two galaxies (NGC 1279, 1281) on 12th Debember 1876 during his stay at Birr Castle using the 72 inch reflector of Lord Rosse. NGC 1276 is misclassified and a double star.
  • Lewis Swift contributed two galaxies (IC 312 and 313) after Dreyer's NGC catalogue was published in 1888. He used the 16 inch refractor at Warner Observatory, Rochester.

The many galaxies in this close group led to some confusions:

  • Dreyer mistakenly swapped the entries NGC 1275 and NGC 1278. [313]
  • Steinicke lists IC 312 as duplicate entry for NGC 1265 while Simbad assigns IC 312 to the galaxy UGC 2644. [145, 277]

Physical Properties

NGC 1275 is a giant elliptical galaxy and forms the center of the Perseus cluster of galaxies (ACO 426), containing around 500-1000 galaxies. It is also associated with the strong radio Perseus A (3C 84).

This galaxy hosts a supermassive, active black hole. Energetic activity of gas swirling near the black hole blows bubbles of material into the surrounding galaxy cluster. Long gaseous filaments stretch out beyond the galaxy, into the multimillion-degree, X-ray-emitting gas that fills the cluster. These filaments are the only visible-light manifestation of the intricate relationship between the central black hole and the surrounding cluster gas. They provide important clues about how giant black holes affect their surrounding environment. The amount of gas contained in a typical thread is around one million times the mass of our own Sun. They are only 200 light-years wide, are often very straight, and extend for up to 20'000 light-years. The filaments are formed when cold gas from the core of the galaxy is dragged out in the wake of the rising bubbles blown by the black hole. Strong magnetic fields hold the charged gas in place and resist the forces that would distort the filaments. This skeletal structure is strong enough to resist gravitational collapse. [261]

Following table lists all galaxies with NGC/IC number in a 1° field of wie around NGC 1275.

Revised+Historic NGC/IC Version 22/9, © 2022 Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
Name RA Dec Type bMag vMag B-V SB Dim PA z D(z) MD Dreyer Description Identification, Remarks
NGC 1259 03 17 17.3 +41 23 08 Gx (S0) 15.3 14.3 1.0 13.4 0.7 × 0.7 0.019400 81.94 71.940 vF, S, R, vlbM MCG 7-7-46
NGC 1260 03 17 27.2 +41 24 19 Gx (S0-a) 14.2 13.3 0.9 12.5 1.1 × 0.5 86 0.019190 81.06 76.650 vF, S, R UGC 2634; MCG 7-7-47; CGCG 540-81; IRAS 03141+4113
NGC 1264 03 17 59.5 +41 31 13 Gx (SBab) 14.9 14.1 0.8 13.6 1 × 0.5 30 0.010827 45.73 vF, S, vlbM UGC 2643; MCG 7-7-50
NGC 1265 03 18 08.4 +41 45 16 Gx (E5) 14.4 13.4 1.0 13.0 1 × 0.5 125 0.016605 70.14 vF, vS, mbM IC 312; UGC 2644; MCG 7-7-51; CGCG 540-86
NGC 1267 03 18 44.8 +41 28 03 Gx (E2) 14.1 13.1 1.0 13.2 1.1 × 0.9 30 0.016875 71.28 F, vS, R, stell GC 668; UGC 2657; MCG 7-7-55; CGCG 540-92
NGC 1268 03 18 45.2 +41 29 21 Gx (Sb) 14.2 13.4 0.8 12.7 0.9 × 0.6 120 0.010884 45.97 eF, S, lE, com GC 669; UGC 2658; MCG 7-7-56; CGCG 540-93
NGC 1270 03 18 58.1 +41 28 13 Gx (E2) 14.3 13.1 1.2 13.5 0.9 × 0.7 15 0.016561 69.95 76.650 vF, S, R GC 671; UGC 2660; MCG 7-7-57; CGCG 540-95
NGC 1271 03 19 11.2 +41 21 13 Gx (SB0?) 14.9 13.9 1.0 12.1 0.5 × 0.2 127 0.019183 81.03 vF, vS CGCG 540-96
NGC 1272 03 19 21.3 +41 29 26 Gx (E1) 12.9 11.8 1.1 13.2 2.2 × 2 0 0.012725 53.75 76.650 F, S, R GC 672; UGC 2662; MCG 7-7-58; CGCG 540-98
NGC 1273 03 19 26.8 +41 32 24 Gx (S0) 14.3 13.2 1.1 13.2 0.8 × 0.7 144 0.017969 75.90 76.650 vF, vS GC 673; MCG 7-7-59; CGCG 540-99
NGC 1274 03 19 40.6 +41 32 58 Gx (E3) 15.1 14.1 1.0 12.6 0.8 × 0.3 38 0.021391 90.35 76.650 vF, vS GC 5302; MCG 7-7-62; CGCG 540-102
NGC 1275 03 19 48.1 +41 30 41 Gx (S0/P) 12.6 11.9 0.7 13.2 2.3 × 1.6 110 0.017559 74.17 72.700 F, S WH II 603; h 293; GC 674; UGC 2669; MCG 7-7-63; CGCG 540-103; 3C 84 ; IRAS 03164+4119; Perseus A
NGC 1276 03 19 51.1 +41 38 33 *2 vF, vS GC 5303
NGC 1277 03 19 51.4 +41 34 27 Gx (S0-a) 14.7 13.6 1.1 12.3 0.8 × 0.3 92 0.016898 71.38 vF, vS, np II 603 GC 5304=5305; MCG 7-7-64; CGCG 540-104
NGC 1278 03 19 54.1 +41 33 49 Gx (E2) 13.6 12.4 1.2 13.0 1.4 × 1.1 102 0.020314 85.80 76.650 pB, pS, R, bM GC 675; IC 1907; UGC 2670; MCG 7-7-65; CGCG 540-105
NGC 1279 03 19 59.1 +41 28 47 Gx (S) 15.8 15.0 0.8 13.3 0.6 × 0.4 0 0.024300 102.6 vF, vS GC 5306; PGC 12449
NGC 1281 03 20 06.3 +41 37 47 Gx (E5) 14.5 13.3 1.2 13.0 0.9 × 0.4 66 0.014343 60.58 vF, S, * 11 p 1' GC 5307; MCG 7-7-67; CGCG 540-108
NGC 1282 03 20 12.0 +41 22 01 Gx (E4) 13.9 12.9 1.0 13.4 1.2 × 0.7 25 0.007135 30.14 61.330 vF, S, lbMN UGC 2675; MCG 7-7-68; CGCG 540-109
NGC 1283 03 20 15.5 +41 23 55 Gx (E1) 14.7 13.6 1.1 12.7 0.7 × 0.6 73 0.022439 94.78 76.650 vF, S, vlbM UGC 2676; MCG 7-7-69; CGCG 540-110
NGC 1293 03 21 36.4 +41 23 36 Gx (E0) 14.5 13.4 1.1 13.4 0.9 × 0.9 0.013920 58.80 76.650 vF, R, bM, np of 2 WH III 574; h 294; GC 686; MCG 7-7-75; CGCG 540-116; NPM1G +41.0114
NGC 1294 03 21 40.0 +41 21 38 Gx (E-S0) 14.3 13.2 1.1 13.5 1.1 × 0.8 0 0.021965 92.78 vF, R, bM, sf of 2 WH III 575; h 295; GC 687; UGC 2694; MCG 7-7-76; CGCG 540-117; IRAS 03184+4111
IC 312 03 18 08.4 +41 45 16 dup 14.4 13.4 1.0 13.0 1 × 0.5 125 0.016605 70.14 eeF, pS, R, nearly bet 2 st NGC 1265; UGC 2644; MCG 7-7-51; CGCG 540-86
IC 313 03 20 57.9 +41 53 39 Gx (E1) 15.1 14.1 1.0 13.8 0.9 × 0.8 0.014784 62.45 eeF, vS, R, close D * nr s UGC 2682; MCG 7-7-73; CGCG 540-111
IC 1905 03 18 48.0 +41 21 59 *3 Cl, S, vF, ? Neb

Finder Chart

The galaxy Perseus A (NGC 1275) and its companions are located in the constellation Perseus. The best time to observe is from September to February, when the circumpolar constellation is highest at night.

Finder Chart Perseus A (NGC 1275) + Perseus Galaxy Cluster
Perseus A (NGC 1275) + Perseus Galaxy Cluster in constellation Perseus. Charts created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. Limiting magnitudes: Constellation chart ~6.5 mag, DSS2 close-ups ~20 mag. [149, 160]

Objects Within a Radius of 15°

References