Stephans Quintet
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Stephans Quintet

In many parts of the starry sky we notice beautiful grouped stars with the naked eye. Of course the Pleiades are the most famous set of stars we see with the naked eye. But if we look at the sky with a weaker telescope, we also see many clusters of stars that delight us as we look at them. In addition to star clusters, with slightly more powerful telescopes we can see distant galaxies – but also apparent clusters of galaxies. I can immediately say that the image of a cluster of galaxies is the most beautiful thing we see in the deep parts of the universe. The image you see shows perhaps the most famous group of galaxies – Stephan’s Quintet. The set of galaxies is not found in the constellation Pegasus, and was first seen in 1877.

Five galaxies

This is a visual grouping of five galaxies, but four galaxies make up this group. These are: NGC7320, NGC7319, NGC7318 and NGC7317 – and in the picture you can see them at the bottom left. However, we can freely say that the name of this group is a bit wrong. The most famous (blue) galaxy of Stephan’s Quintet group of galaxies is NGC7320 which is much further away from the rest of the group. The galaxy NGC7320 has been calculated to be seven times closer to Earth than the others. The other four galaxies are expected to merge one day, probably one day. And let me mention what else you see in the pictures. In the upper right corner is the dominant galaxy NGC7331, which is 40 million years away from Earth. Above that galaxy you can see others: NGC7333, NGC7335, NGC7336, NGC7337 and NGC7340.

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