Galaxy NGC 3310 (Arp 217)

NGC 3310 + SN 2021gmj
NGC 3310 + SN 2021gmj: Galaxy NGC 3310 with supernova SN2021gmj; 30" SlipStream-Dobson f/3.3; 20s bei ISO 25'600; Hasliberg; © 3. 4. 2021 Eduard von Bergen


The galaxy NGC 3310 was discovered by Wilhelm Herschel on 12 April 1789. It is a spiral galaxy of morphological type SA(rs)bc pec. In Halton Arp's 1966 «Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies», NGC 3310 is listed under the number Arp 217 as an example of a galaxy with an attached bow. The escape velocities measured since 2000 range from 952 km/s to 993 km/s and the distances determined from them range from 17 Mpc to 20 Mpc. [145, 196, 199]

On 20 March 2021, a type II supernova was discovered: SN2021gmj. It reached magnitude 15.1. See fig. 1. Previous known supernovae in this galaxy are: SN1991N, SN1974C. [303, 304]

Physical Properties

NGC 3310
NGC 3310: Section of the Sloan Digitized Sky Survey [147]

NGC 3310 is a well-studied starburst galaxy thought to have earlier merged with a companion. It shows various tidal formations surrounding the main disc and two large H-I tails extending north and south. [305] Observations with the Hubble Space Telescope showed a rotating disk of gas at its center, suggesting a supermassive black hole of about 5 to 42 million times the mass of the Sun. [306]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC, Version 22/9, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
DesignationNGC 3310
TypeGx (SBbc/P)
Right Ascension10h 38m 45.6s
Declination+53° 30' 12"
Diameter3.1 × 2.4 arcmin
Photographic (blue) magnitude11.2 mag
Visual magnitude10.8 mag
Surface brightness12.8 mag·arcmin-2
Position angle156°
Distance derived from z13.99 Mpc
Metric Distance18.100 Mpc
Dreyer DescriptioncB, pL, R, vg, vsmbMN 15"
Identification, RemarksUGC 5786, MCG 9-18-8, CGCG 267-4, IRAS 10356+5345, VV 356, VV 406, PRC D-15, Arp 217

Finder Chart

NGC 3310 is located in the constellation Ursa Maior, about 10 arc minutes south of the 5.5 mag bright star HR 4156, which on a dark night still is visible to the eye. It is circumpolar and is highest in the sky at night from December to June.

Chart Galaxy NGC 3310 (Arp 217)
Galaxy NGC 3310 (Arp 217) in constellation Ursa Maior. Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]

Visual Observation

762 mm aperture: Current supernova (SN2021gmj) in galaxy visually clear and well visible.

— 3. 4. 2021, Eduard von Bergen

More Objects Nearby (±15°)


145SIMBAD astronomical database;
147Aladin Lite; (2020-12-23)
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
196Celestial Atlas by Curtney Seligman; (2020-12-28)
199«Atlas Of Peculiar Galaxies», Halton Arp, 1966; Astrophysical Journal Supplement, vol. 14, p.1 (1966); DOI:10.1086/190147; Bibcode:1966ApJS...14....1A
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)
303List of Supernovae; (2021-04-08)
304All active supernova over mag 17.0; (2021-04-08)
305«Tidal Debris in the Starburst Galaxy NGC 3310: A New Tidal Loop?» Elizabeth H. Wehner and John S. Gallagher III 2004 ApJ 618 L21; DOI:10.1086/427651
306«Supermassive black holes in the Sbc spiral galaxies NGC 3310, NGC 4303 and NGC 4258» G. Pastorini, A. Marconi1 A. Capetti, D. J. Axon, A. Alonso-Herrero, J. Atkinson, D. Batcheldor, C. M. Carollo, J. Collett, L. Dressel, M. A. Hughes, D. Macchetto, W. Maciejewski, W. Sparks and R. van der Marel; A&A Volume 469, Number 2, July II 2007; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361:20066784