List of galaxies

Last updated

Size (left) and distance (right) of a few well-known galaxies put to scale Galaxy scale.JPG
Size (left) and distance (right) of a few well-known galaxies put to scale

The following is a list of notable galaxies.

There are about 51 galaxies in the Local Group (see list of nearest galaxies for a complete list), on the order of 100,000 in our Local Supercluster, and an estimated 100 billion in all of the observable universe. [1]

Contents

The discovery of the nature of galaxies as distinct from other nebulae (interstellar clouds) was made in the 1920s. The first attempts at systematic catalogues of galaxies were made in the 1960s, with the Catalogue of Galaxies and Clusters of Galaxies listing 29,418 galaxies and galaxy clusters, and with the Morphological Catalogue of Galaxies, a putatively complete list of galaxies with photographic magnitude above 15, listing 30,642. In the 1980s, the Lyons Groups of Galaxies listed 485 galaxy groups with 3,933 member galaxies. Galaxy Zoo is a project aiming at a more comprehensive list: launched in July 2007, it has classified over one million galaxy images from The Sloan Digital Sky Survey, The Hubble Space Telescope and the Cosmic Assembly Near-Infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey. [2]

There is no universal naming convention for galaxies, as they are mostly catalogued before it is established whether the object is or isn't a galaxy. Mostly they are identified by their celestial coordinates together with the name of the observing project (HUDF, SDSS, 3C, CFHQS, NGC/IC, etc.)

Named galaxies

This is a list of galaxies that are well known by something other than an entry in a catalog or list, or a set of coordinates, or a systematic designation.

ImageGalaxyConstellationOrigin of nameNotes
Andromeda Galaxy (with h-alpha).jpg Andromeda Galaxy Andromeda Andromeda, which is shortened from "Andromeda Galaxy", gets its name from the area of the sky in which it appears, the constellation of Andromeda.Andromeda is the closest big galaxy to the Milky Way and is expected to collide with the Milky Way around 4.5 billion years from now. The two will eventually merge into a single new galaxy called Milkdromeda.
Antennae Galaxies reloaded.jpg Antennae Galaxies Corvus Appearance is similar to an insect's antennae.
NGC 4622HSTFull.jpg Backward Galaxy Centaurus It appears to rotate backwards, as the tips of the spiral arms point in the direction of rotation.
Blackeyegalaxy.jpg Black Eye Galaxy Coma Berenices It has a spectacular dark band of absorbing dust in front of the galaxy's bright nucleus, giving rise to its nicknames of the "Black Eye" or "Evil Eye" galaxy.
Messier 81 HST.jpg Bode's Galaxy Ursa Major Named for Johann Elert Bode who discovered this galaxy in 1774.
NGC 4567 & 4568.png Butterfly Galaxies Virgo Looks are similar to a butterfly.
Cartwheel Galaxy.jpg Cartwheel Galaxy Sculptor Its visual appearance is similar to that of a spoked cartwheel.
M82 HST ACS 2006-14-a-large web.jpg Cigar Galaxy Ursa Major Appears similar in shape to a cigar.
Circinus Galaxy.png Circinus Galaxy Circinus Named after the constellation it is located in (Circinus).
Messier99 - SDSS DR14.jpg Coma Pinwheel Galaxy Coma Benerices Named after its resemblance to the Pinwheel Galaxy and its location in the Coma Benerices constellation.
CometGalaxy.jpg Comet Galaxy Sculptor This galaxy is named after its unusual appearance, looking like a comet.The comet effect is caused by tidal stripping by its galaxy cluster, Abell 2667.
Eso1524aArtist's impression of CR7 the brightest galaxy in the early Universe.jpg Cosmos Redshift 7 Sextans The name of this galaxy is based on a Redshift (z) measurement of nearly 7 (actually, z = 6.604). [3] Galaxy Cosmos Redshift 7 is reported to be the brightest of distant galaxies (z > 6) and to contain some of the earliest first stars (first generation; Population III) that produced the chemical elements needed for the later formation of planets and life as we know it. [3]
NGC4151 Galaxy from the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter Schulman Telescope courtesy Adam Block.jpg Eye of Sauron Canes Venatici Due to its resemblance to the Eye of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings.
NGC 6946.jpg Fireworks Galaxy Cygnus and Cepheus Due to its bright and spotty appearance
NGC4656 - SDSS DR14 (panorama).jpg Hockey Stick Galaxies Canes Venatici Its elongated and curved appearance resembles a hockey stick.
Hoag's object.jpg Hoag's Object Serpens CaputThis is named after Art Hoag, who discovered this ring galaxy.It is of the subtype Hoag-type galaxy, and may in fact be a polar-ring galaxy with the ring in the plane of rotation of the central object.
Large.mc.arp.750pix.jpg Large Magellanic Cloud Dorado/ Mensa Named after Ferdinand Magellan This is the fourth-largest galaxy in the Local Group, and forms a pair with the SMC, and from recent research, may not be part of the Milky Way system of satellites at all. [4]
AM 0644-741.jpg Lindsay-Shapley Ring Volans Named after its discoverer, Eric Lindsay, his professor Harlow Shapley, and its nature as a ring galaxy.
N7814s.jpg Little Sombrero Galaxy Pegasus Named after its similarity to the Sombrero Galaxy.
Malin1-HLA (cropped).jpg Malin 1 Coma Berenices Discovered and named by David Malin.
Snakes and Stones NGC 4194.jpg Medusa Merger Ursa Major Ejected dust from the merging galaxies is said to look like the snakes that the Gorgon Medusa from Greek mythology had on her head.
Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy ESO.jpg Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy Sculptor Similar to the Sculpture Galaxies
Merging galaxies NGC 4676 (captured by the Hubble Space Telescope).jpg Mice Galaxies Coma Berenices Appearance is similar to a mouse.
Small Magellanic Cloud (Digitized Sky Survey 2).jpg Small Magellanic Cloud Tucana Named after Ferdinand Magellan This forms a pair with the LMC, and from recent research, may not be part of the Milky Way system of satellites at all.
Hubble Interacting Galaxy Arp 148 (2008-04-24).jpg Mayall's Object Ursa Major This is named after Nicholas Mayall, of the Lick Observatory, who discovered it. [5] [6] [7] Also called VV 32 and Arp 148, this is a very peculiar looking object, and is likely to be not one galaxy, but two galaxies undergoing a collision. Event in images is a spindle shape and a ring shape.
ESO-VLT-Laser-phot-33a-07.jpg Milky Way Sagittarius (centre)The appearance from Earth of the galaxy—a band of lightThe galaxy containing the Sun and its Solar System, and therefore Earth.
Needle Galaxy 4565.jpeg Needle Galaxy Coma Berenices Named due to its slender appearance.
The WLM galaxy on the edge of the Local Group.jpg Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte Cetus Named for the three astronomers instrumental in its discovery and identification.
M101 hires STScI-PRC2006-10a.jpg Pinwheel Galaxy Ursa Major Similar in appearance to a pinwheel (toy).
Sculptor Galaxy up Close.jpg Sculptor Galaxy Sculptor Named after its location in the Sculptor Constellation. Also called the Silver Dollar or Silver Coin Galaxy, because of its light and circular appearance.
M104 ngc4594 sombrero galaxy hi-res.jpg Sombrero Galaxy Virgo Similar in appearance to a sombrero.
Messier 83 (captured by ESO's 1.5-metre Danish telescope).jpg Southern Pinwheel Galaxy Hydra Named after its resemblance to the Pinwheel Galaxy and its location in the southern celestial hemisphere.
Messier 63 GALEX WikiSky.jpg Sunflower Galaxy Canes Venatici Similar in appearance to a sunflower.
UGC 10214HST.jpg Tadpole Galaxy Draco The name comes from the resemblance of the galaxy to a tadpole.This shape resulted from tidal interaction that drew out a long tidal tail.
TriangulumGalaxy-HighRez-Hubble-20190111.png Triangulum Galaxy Triangulum Named after its location within the Triangulum constellation.
Messier51 sRGB.jpg Whirlpool Galaxy Canes Venatici From the whirlpool appearance this gravitationally disturbed galaxy exhibits.

Naked-eye galaxies

This is a list of galaxies that are visible to the naked eye, for at the very least, keen-eyed observers in a very dark-sky environment that is high in altitude, during clear and stable weather.

Naked-eye galaxies
GalaxyApparent
Magnitude
DistanceConstellationNotes
Milky Way −6.5 [lower-alpha 1] 0 Sagittarius (centre)This is the galaxy containing the Sun and its Solar System, and therefore Earth. Most things visible to the naked eye in the sky are part of it, including the Milky Way composing the Zone of Avoidance. [8]
Large Magellanic Cloud 0.9160 kly (49 kpc) Dorado / Mensa Visible only from the southern hemisphere. It is also the brightest patch of nebulosity in the sky. [8] [9] [10]
Small Magellanic Cloud (NGC 292)2.7200 kly (61 kpc) Tucana Visible only from the southern hemisphere. [8] [11]
Andromeda Galaxy (M31, NGC 224)3.42.5 Mly (770 kpc) Andromeda Once called the Great Andromeda Nebula, it is situated in the Andromeda constellation. [8] [12]
Triangulum Galaxy (M33, NGC 598)5.72.9 Mly (890 kpc) Triangulum Being a diffuse object, its visibility is strongly affected by even small amounts of light pollution, ranging from easily visible in direct vision in truly dark skies to a difficult averted vision object in rural/suburban skies. [13]
Centaurus A (NGC 5128)6.8413.7 Mly (4.2 Mpc) Centaurus Centaurus A has been spotted with the naked eye by Stephen James O'Meara. [14]
Bode's Galaxy (M81, NGC 3031)6.9412 Mly (3.7 Mpc) Ursa Major Highly experienced amateur astronomers may be able to see Messier 81 under exceptional observing conditions. [15] [16] [17]
Sculptor Galaxy (NGC 253)7.212 Mly (3.7 Mpc)SculptorNGC 253 has been observed with the naked eye by Timo Karhula. [18]

Observational firsts

FirstGalaxyConstellationYearNotes
First spiral galaxy Messier 51 Canes Venatici 1845Lord William Parsons, Earl of Rosse discovered the first spiral nebula from observing M51 (recognition of the spiral shape without the recognition of the object as outside the Milky Way). [19]
Notion of galaxy Milky Way Galaxy
& Messier 31
Sagittarius (centre)
& Andromeda
1923Recognition of the Milky Way and the Andromeda nebula as two separate galaxies by Edwin Hubble.
First Seyfert galaxy NGC 1068 (M77) Cetus 1943
(1908)
The characteristics of Seyfert galaxies were first observed in M77 in 1908; however, Seyferts were defined as a class in 1943. [20]
First radio galaxy Cygnus A Cygnus 1951Of several items, then called radio stars, Cygnus A was identified with a distant galaxy, being the first of many radio stars to become a radio galaxy. [21] [22]
First quasar 3C273 Virgo 19623C273 was the first quasar with its redshift determined, and by some considered the first quasar.
3C48 Triangulum 19603C48 was the first "radio-star" with an unreadable spectrum, and by others considered the first quasar.
First superluminal galactic jet 3C279 Virgo 1971The jet is emitted by a quasar
First low-surface-brightness galaxy Malin 1 Coma Berenices 1986Malin 1 was the first verified LSB galaxy. LSB galaxies had been first theorized in 1976. [23]
First superluminal jet from a Seyfert III Zw 2 Pisces [24] 2000 [25]

Prototypes

This is a list of galaxies that became prototypes for a class of galaxies.

Prototype Galaxies
ClassGalaxyConstellationDateNotes
BL Lac object BL Lacertae (BL Lac) Lacerta This AGN was originally catalogued as a variable star, and "stars" of its type are considered BL Lac objects.
Hoag-type Galaxy Hoag's Object Serpens CaputThis is the prototype Hoag-type ring galaxy
Giant LSB galaxy Malin 1 Coma Berenices 1986 [26]
FR II radio galaxy
(double-lobed radio galaxy)
Cygnus A Cygnus 1951 [27]
Starburst galaxy Cigar Galaxy Ursa Major
Flocculent spiral galaxy NGC 2841 Ursa Major

Closest and most distant-known galaxies by type

TitleGalaxyConstellationDistanceNotes
Closest galaxy Canis Major Dwarf Canis Major 0.025 MlyDiscovered in 2003, a satellite of the Milky Way, slowly being cannibalised by it
Most distant galaxy GN-z11 Ursa Major z=11.09With an estimated distance of about 32 billion light-years (comoving distance,) or 13.4 GLY (light-travel distance,) astronomers announced it as the most distant astronomical galaxy known. [28]
Closest quasar 3C 273 Virgo z=0.158First identified quasar, this is the most commonly accepted nearest quasar.
Most distant quasar J0313-1806 Eridanus z=7.64It's discovery was announced in January 2021. It has a redshift of 7.64 making it the most distant-known quasar in the universe. [29]
Closest radio galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128, PKS 1322-427) Centaurus 13.7 Mly [30]
Most distant radio galaxy TGSS J1530+1049 Serpens z=5.72This radio galaxy was discovered in 2018, and is currently the most distant radio galaxy known. [31]
Closest Seyfert galaxy Circinus Galaxy Circinus 13 MlyThis is also the closest Seyfert 2 galaxy. The closest Seyfert 1 galaxy is NGC 4151.
Most distant Seyfert galaxyz=
Closest blazar Markarian 421 (Mrk 421, Mkn 421, PKS 1101+384, LEDA 33452) Ursa Major z=0.030This is a BL Lac object. [32] [33]
Most distant-known blazar Q0906+6930 Ursa Major z=5.47This is a flat spectrum radio-loud quasar-type blazar. [34] [35]
Closest BL Lac object Markarian 421 (Mkn 421, Mrk 421, PKS 1101+384, LEDA 33452) Ursa Major z=0.030 [32] [33]
Most distant BL Lac objectz=
Closest LINER
Most distant LINERz=
Closest LIRG
Most distant LIRGz=
Closest ULIRG IC 1127 (Arp 220/APG 220) Serpens Caputz=0.018 [36]
Most distant ULIRGz=
Closest starburst galaxy Cigar Galaxy (M82, Arp 337/APG 337, 3C 231, Ursa Major A) Ursa Major 3.2 Mpc [37] [38]
Most distant starburst galaxy SPT 0243-49 z=5.698 [39] [40]

Closest galaxies

5 Closest Galaxies
RankGalaxyDistanceNotes
1 Milky Way Galaxy 0This is the galaxy containing the Sun and its Solar System, and therefore Earth.
2 Canis Major Dwarf 0.025 Mly
3 Virgo Stellar Stream 0.030 Mly
4 Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy 0.081 Mly
5 Large Magellanic Cloud 0.163 MlyLargest satellite galaxy of the Milky Way
6 Small Magellanic Cloud 0.197 Mly
  • Mly represents millions of light-years, a measure of distance.
  • Distances are measured from Earth, with Earth being at zero.
Nearest Galaxies by Type
TitleGalaxyDateDistanceNotes
Nearest galaxy Milky Way always0This is the galaxy containing the Sun and its Solar System, and therefore Earth.
Nearest galaxy to our own Canis Major Dwarf 20030.025 MlyThe absolute closest galaxy
Nearest dwarf galaxy Canis Major Dwarf 20030.025 Mly
Nearest major galaxy to our own Andromeda Galaxy always2.54 MlyFirst identified as a separate galaxy in 1923
Nearest giant galaxy Centaurus A 12 Mly
Nearest Neighboring Galaxy Title-holder
GalaxyDateDistanceNotes
Canis Major Dwarf 2003 0.025 Mly
Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy 1994–20030.081 Mly
Large Magellanic Cloud antiquity–19940.163 MlyThis is the upper bound, as it is nearest galaxy observable with the naked eye.
Small Magellanic Cloud 1913–19140.197 MlyThis was the first intergalactic distance measured. In 1913, Ejnar Hertzsprung measures the distance to SMC using Cepheid variables. In 1914, he did it for LMC.
Andromeda Galaxy 19232.5 MlyThis was the first galaxy determined to not be part of the Milky Way.
  • Mly represents millions of light-years, a measure of distance.
  • Distances are measured from Earth, with Earth being at zero.

Most distant galaxies

Most Remote Galaxies by Type
TitleGalaxyDateRedshift [lower-alpha 2] Notes
Candidate most remote galaxy (photometric redshift) UDFj-39546284 2011z=11.9(?)This was proposed to be the remotest object known at time of discovery. In late 2012, its distance was revised from z=10.3 to 11.9; [41] [42] however, recent re-analyses suggest it is likely to be at much lower redshift. [43]
Most remote galaxy confirmed (spectroscopic redshift) GN-z11 2016z=11.09As of March 2016, GN-z11 is the most distant-known galaxy. [28]
Most remote quasar J0313-1806 2021z=7.64Most distant as of January 2021. [29] Further information: List of quasars
Most distant non-quasar SMG (sub-mm) Baby Boom Galaxy (EQ J100054+023435)2008z=4.547 [44]
grand-design spiral galaxy Q2343-BX442 2012z=2.18 [45]
Timeline of Most Remote Galaxy Record-holders [lower-alpha 3]
GalaxyDateDistance
(z=Redshift) [lower-alpha 2]
Notes
GN-z11 2016– z=11.09Announced March 2016. [28]
EGSY8p7
(EGSY-2008532660)
2015–2016z=8.68This galaxy's redshift was determined by examining its Lyman-alpha emissions, which were released in August 2015. [46] [47]
EGS-zs8-1 2015–2015z=7.730This was the most distant galaxy as of May 2015. [48] [49]
Z8 GND 5296 2013–2015z=7.51 [50]
SXDF-NB1006-2 2012–2013z=7.215 [51]
GN-108036 2012–2012z=7.213 [52]
BDF-3299 2012–2013z=7.109 [53]
IOK-1 2006–2010z=6.96This was the remotest object known at time of discovery. In 2009, gamma ray burst GRB 090423 was discovered at z=8.2, taking the title of most distant object. The next galaxy to hold the title also succeeded GRB 090423, that being UDFy-38135539. [54] [55] [56]
SDF J132522.3+273520 2005–2006z=6.597This was the remotest object known at time of discovery. [56] [57]
SDF J132418.3+271455 2003–2005z=6.578This was the remotest object known at time of discovery. [57] [58] [59] [60]
HCM-6A 2002–2003z=6.56This was the remotest object known at time of discovery. The galaxy is lensed by galaxy cluster Abell 370. This was the first galaxy, as opposed to quasar, found to exceed redshift 6. It exceeded the redshift of quasar SDSSp J103027.10+052455.0 of z=6.28 [58] [59] [61] [62] [63] [64]
SSA22−HCM1 1999–2002z=5.74This was the remotest object known at time of discovery. In 2000, the quasar SDSSp J104433.04-012502.2 was discovered at z=5.82, becoming the most remote object in the universe known. This was followed by another quasar, SDSSp J103027.10+052455.0 in 2001, the first object exceeding redshift 6, at z=6.28 [65] [66]
HDF 4-473.0 1998–1999z=5.60This was the remotest object known at the time of discovery. [66]
RD1 (0140+326 RD1)1998z=5.34This was the remotest object known at time of discovery. This was the first object found beyond redshift 5. [66] [67] [68] [69] [70]
CL 1358+62 G1 & CL 1358+62 G2 1997–1998z=4.92These were the remotest objects known at the time of discovery. The pair of galaxies were found lensed by galaxy cluster CL1358+62 (z=0.33). This was the first time since 1964 that something other than a quasar held the record for being the most distant object in the universe. It exceeded the mark set by quasar PC 1247-3406 at z=4.897 [66] [68] [69] [71] [72] [73]

From 1964 to 1997, the title of most distant object in the universe were held by a succession of quasars. [73] That list is available at list of quasars.

8C 1435+63 1994–1997z=4.25This is a radio galaxy. At the time of its discovery, quasar PC 1247-3406 at z=4.73, discovered in 1991 was the most remote object known. This was the last radio galaxy to hold the title of most distant galaxy. This was the first galaxy, as opposed to quasar, that was found beyond redshift 4. [66] [74] [75] [76]
4C 41.17 1990–1994z=3.792This is a radio galaxy. At the time of its discovery, quasar PC 1158+4635, discovered in 1989, was the most remote object known, at z=4.73 In 1991, quasar PC 1247-3406, became the most remote object known, at z=4.897 [66] [75] [76] [77] [78]
1 Jy 0902+343 (GB6 B0902+3419, B2 0902+34)1988–1990z=3.395This is a radio galaxy. At the time of discovery, quasar Q0051-279 at z=4.43, discovered in 1987, was the most remote object known. In 1989, quasar PC 1158+4635 was discovered at z=4.73, making it the most remote object known. This was the first galaxy discovered above redshift 3. It was also the first galaxy found above redshift 2. [66] [78] [79] [80] [81]
3C 256 1984–1988z=1.819This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar PKS 2000-330, at z=3.78, found in 1982. [66] [82]
3C 241 1984z=1.617This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar PKS 2000-330, at z=3.78, found in 1982. [83] [84]
3C 324 1983–1984z=1.206This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar PKS 2000-330, at z=3.78, found in 1982. [66] [83] [85]
3C 65 1982–1983z=1.176This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974. In 1982, quasar PKS 2000-330 at z=3.78 became the most remote object.
3C 368 1982z=1.132This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974. [66]
3C 252 1981–1982z=1.105This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974.
3C 6.1 1979 –z=0.840This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974. [66] [86]
3C 318 1976 –z=0.752This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974. [66]
3C 411 1975 –z=0.469This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974. [66]

From 1964 to 1997, the title of most distant object in the universe were held by a succession of quasars. [73] That list is available at list of quasars.

3C 295 1960–z=0.461This is a radio galaxy. This was the remotest object known at time of discovery of its redshift. This was the last non-quasar to hold the title of most distant object known until 1997. In 1964, quasar 3C 147 became the most distant object in the universe known. [66] [73] [87] [88] [89]
LEDA 25177 (MCG+01-23-008)1951–1960z=0.2
(V=61000 km/s)
This galaxy lies in the Hydra Supercluster. It is located at B1950.0 08h 55m 4s+03° 21 and is the BCG of the fainter Hydra Cluster Cl 0855+0321 (ACO 732). [66] [89] [90] [91] [92] [93] [94] [95]
LEDA 51975 (MCG+05-34-069)1936–z=0.13
(V=39000 km/s)
The brightest cluster galaxy of the Bootes cluster (ACO 1930), an elliptical galaxy at B1950.0 14h 30m 6s+31° 46 apparent magnitude 17.8, was found by Milton L. Humason in 1936 to have a 40,000 km/s recessional redshift velocity. [93] [96] [97]
LEDA 20221 (MCG+06-16-021)1932 –z=0.075
(V=23000 km/s)
This is the BCG of the Gemini Cluster (ACO 568) and was located at B1950.0 07h 05m 0s+35° 04 [96] [98]
BCG of WMH Christie's Leo Cluster1931–1932z=
(V=19700 km/s)
[98] [99] [100] [101]
BCG of Baede's Ursa Major Cluster1930–1931z=
(V=11700 km/s)
[101] [102]
NGC 4860 1929–1930z=0.026
(V=7800 km/s)
[103] [104]
NGC 7619 1929z=0.012
(V=3779 km/s)
Using redshift measurements, NGC 7619 was the highest at the time of measurement. At the time of announcement, it was not yet accepted as a general guide to distance; however, later in the year, Edwin Hubble described redshift in relation to distance, leading to a seachange, and having this being accepted as an inferred distance. [103] [105] [106]
NGC 584 (Dreyer nebula 584)1921–1929z=0.006
(V=1800 km/s)
At the time, nebula had yet to be accepted as independent galaxies. However, in 1923, galaxies were generally recognized as external to the Milky Way. [93] [103] [105] [107] [108] [109] [110]
M104 (NGC 4594)1913–1921z=0.004
(V=1180 km/s)
This was the second galaxy whose redshift was determined; the first being Andromeda—which is approaching us and thus cannot have its redshift used to infer distance. Both were measured by Vesto Melvin Slipher. At this time, nebula had yet to be accepted as independent galaxies. NGC 4594 was originally measured as 1000 km/s, then refined to 1100, and then to 1180 in 1916. [103] [107] [110]
M81 antiquity –
20th century
[lower-alpha 4]
11.8 Mly z=-0.10)This is the lower bound, as it is remotest galaxy observable with the naked eye. It is 12 million light-years away. Redshift cannot be used to infer distance, because it is moving toward us faster than cosmological expansion.
Messier 101 1930–Using the pre-1950s Cepheid measurements, M101 was one of the most distant so measured.
Triangulum Galaxy 1924–1930In 1924, Edwin Hubble announced the distance to M33 Triangulum.
Andromeda Galaxy 1923–1924In 1923, Edwin Hubble measured the distance to Andromeda, and settled the question of whether or not there were galaxies, or if everything was in the Milky Way.
Small Magellanic Cloud 1913–1923This was the first intergalactic distance measured. In 1913, Ejnar Hertzsprung measures the distance to SMC using Cepheid variables.

Timeline notes

  • MACS0647-JD, discovered in 2012, with z=10.7, does not appear on this list because it has not been confirmed with a spectroscopic redshift. [111]
  • UDFy-38135539, discovered in 2009, with z=8.6, does not appear on this list because its claimed redshift is disputed. [112] Follow-up observations have failed to replicate the cited redshift measurement.
  • A1689-zD1, discovered in 2008, with z=7.6, does not appear on this list because it has not been confirmed with a spectroscopic redshift.
  • Abell 68 c1 and Abell 2219 c1, discovered in 2007, with z=9, do not appear on this list because they have not been confirmed. [113]
  • IOK4 and IOK5, discovered in 2007, with z=7, do not appear on this list because they have not been confirmed with a spectroscopic redshift.
  • Abell 1835 IR1916, discovered in 2004, with z=10.0, does not appear on this list because its claimed redshift is disputed. Some follow-up observations have failed to find the object at all.
  • STIS 123627+621755, discovered in 1999, with z=6.68, does not appear on this list because its redshift was based on an erroneous interpretation of an oxygen emission line as a hydrogen emission line. [114] [115] [116]
  • BR1202-0725 LAE, discovered in 1998 at z=5.64 does not appear on the list because it was not definitively pinned. BR1202-0725 (QSO 1202-07) refers to a quasar that the Lyman alpha emitting galaxy is near. The quasar itself lies at z=4.6947 [67] [70]
  • BR2237-0607 LA1 and BR2237-0607 LA2 were found at z=4.55 while investigating around the quasar BR2237-0607 in 1996. Neither of these appear on the list because they were not definitively pinned down at the time. The quasar itself lies at z=4.558 [117] [118]
  • Two absorption dropouts in the spectrum of quasar BR 1202-07 (QSO 1202-0725, BRI 1202-0725, BRI1202-07) were found, one in early 1996, another later in 1996. Neither of these appear on the list because they were not definitively pinned down at the time. The early one was at z=4.38, the later one at z=4.687, the quasar itself lies at z=4.695 [66] [119] [120] [121] [122]
  • In 1986, a gravitationally lensed galaxy forming a blue arc was found lensed by galaxy cluster CL 2224-02 (C12224 in some references). However, its redshift was only determined in 1991, at z=2.237, by which time, it would no longer be the most distant galaxy known. [123] [124]
  • An absorption drop was discovered in 1985 in the light spectrum of quasar PKS 1614+051 at z=3.21 This does not appear on the list because it was not definitively fixed down. At the time, it was claimed to be the first non-QSO galaxy found beyond redshift 3. The quasar itself is at z=3.197 [66] [125]
  • In 1975, 3C 123 was incorrectly determined to lie at z=0.637 (actually z=0.218). [126] [127]
  • From 1964 to 1997, the title of most distant object in the universe was held by a succession of quasars. [73] That list is available at list of quasars.
  • In 1958, cluster Cl 0024+1654 and Cl 1447+2619 were estimated to have redshifts of z=0.29 and z=0.35, respectively. However, no galaxy was spectroscopically determined. [89]

Galaxies by brightness and power

TitleGalaxyDataNotes
Intrinsically brightest galaxy Baby Boom Galaxy [ verification needed ] Starburst galaxy located 12 billion light-years away
Brightest galaxy to the naked eye Large Magellanic Cloud Apparent magnitude 0.6This galaxy has high surface brightness combined with high apparent brightness.
Intrinsically faintest galaxy Boötes Dwarf Galaxy (Boo dSph) Absolute magnitude −6.75This does not include dark galaxies.
Lowest surface brightness galaxy Andromeda IX
Most luminous galaxy WISE J224607.57-052635.0 As of 21 May 2015, WISE-J224607.57-052635.0-20150521 is the most luminous galaxy discovered and releases 10,000 times more energy than the Milky Way galaxy, although smaller. Nearly 100 percent of the light escaping from this dusty galaxy is Infrared radiation. [128] [129] (Image)
Brightest distant galaxy (z > 6) Cosmos Redshift 7 Galaxy Cosmos Redshift 7 is reported to be the brightest of distant galaxies (z > 6) and to contain some of the earliest first stars (first generation; Population III) that produced the chemical elements needed for the later formation of planets and life as we know it. [3] [130]

Galaxies by mass and density

TitleGalaxyDataNotes
Least massive galaxy Segue 2 ~550,000 MSunThis is not considered a star cluster, as it is held together by the gravitational effects of dark matter rather than just the mutual attraction of the constituent stars, gas and black holes. [131] [132]
Most massive galaxy ESO 146-IG 005 ~30×1012 MSunCentral galaxy in Abell 3827, 1.4 Gly distant. [133] [134]
Most dense galaxy M85-HCC1 This is an ultra-compact dwarf galaxy [135]
Least dense galaxy
Most massive spiral galaxy ISOHDFS 27 1.04×1012 MSunThe preceding most massive spiral was UGC 12591 [136]
Least massive galaxy with globular cluster(s) Andromeda I [137]

Field galaxies

List of field galaxies
GalaxyDataNotes
NGC 4555
SDSS J1021+1312 [138]

A field galaxy is a galaxy that does not belong to a larger cluster of galaxies and hence is gravitationally alone.

Interacting galaxies

Galaxies in tidal interaction
GalaxiesDataNotes
The Magellanic Clouds are being tidally disrupted by the Milky Way Galaxy, resulting in the Magellanic Stream drawing a tidal tail away from the LMC and SMC, and the Magellanic Bridge drawing material from the clouds to our galaxy.
The smaller galaxy NGC 5195 is tidally interacting with the larger Whirlpool Galaxy, creating its grand design spiral galaxy architecture.
These three galaxies interact with each other and draw out tidal tails, which are dense enough to form star clusters. The bridge of gas between these galaxies is known as Arp's Loop. [139]
NGC 6872 is a barred spiral galaxy with a grand design spiral nucleus, and distinct well-formed outer barred-spiral architecture, caused by tidal interaction with satellite galaxy IC 4970.
Tadpole Galaxy The Tadpole Galaxy tidally interacted with another galaxy in a close encounter, and remains slightly disrupted, with a long tidal tail.
Galaxies in non-merger significant collision
GalaxiesDataNotes
Arp 299 (NGC 3690 & IC 694)These two galaxies have recently collided and are now both barred irregular galaxies.
Galaxies disrupted post significant non-merger collisions
GalaxiesDataNotes
Mayall's Object This is a pair of galaxies, one which punched through the other, resulting in a ring galaxy.

Galaxy mergers

Galaxies undergoing near-equal merger
GalaxiesDataNotes
Antennae Galaxies (Ringtail Galaxy, NGC 4038 & NGC 4039, Arp 244)2 galaxiesTwo spiral galaxies currently starting a collision, tidally interacting, and in the process of merger.
Butterfly Galaxies (Siamese Twins Galaxies, NGC 4567 & NGC 4568)2 galaxiesTwo spiral galaxies in the process of starting to merge.
Mice Galaxies (NGC 4676, NGC 4676A & NGC 4676B, IC 819 & IC 820, Arp 242)2 galaxiesTwo spiral galaxies currently tidally interacting and in the process of merger.
NGC 520 2 galaxiesTwo spiral galaxies undergoing collision, in the process of merger.
NGC 2207 and IC 2163 (NGC 2207 & IC 2163)2 galaxiesThese are two spiral galaxies starting to collide, in the process of merger.
NGC 5090 and NGC 5091 (NGC 5090 & NGC 5091)2 galaxiesThese two galaxies are in the process of colliding and merging.
NGC 7318 (Arp 319, NGC 7318A & NGC 7318B)2 galaxiesThese are two starting to collide
Four galaxies in CL0958+4702 4 galaxiesThese four near-equals at the core of galaxy cluster CL 0958+4702 are in the process of merging. [140]
Galaxy protocluster LBG-2377 z=3.03This was announced as the most distant galaxy merger ever discovered. It is expected that this proto-cluster of galaxies will merge to form a brightest cluster galaxy, and become the core of a larger galaxy cluster. [141] [142]
Recently merged galaxies of near-equals
GalaxyDataNotes
Starfish Galaxy (NGC 6240, IC 4625)This recently coalesced galaxy still has two prominent nuclei.
Galaxies undergoing disintegration by cannibalization
Disintegrating GalaxyConsuming GalaxyNotes
Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy Milky Way Galaxy The Monoceros Ring is thought to be the tidal tail of the disrupted CMa dg.
Virgo Stellar Stream Milky Way Galaxy This is thought to be a completely disrupted dwarf galaxy.
Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy Milky Way Galaxy M54 is thought to be the core of this dwarf galaxy.
Objects considered destroyed galaxies
Defunct GalaxyDestroyerNotes
Omega Centauri Milky Way Galaxy This is now categorized a globular cluster of the Milky Way. However, it is considered the core of a dwarf galaxy that the Milky Way cannibalized. [143]
Mayall II Andromeda Galaxy This is now categorized a globular cluster of Andromeda. However, it is considered the core of a dwarf galaxy that Andromeda cannibalized.

Galaxies with some other notable feature

Galaxy nameDistanceConstellationPropertyNotes
M87 Virgo This is the central galaxy of the Virgo Cluster, the central cluster of the Local Supercluster [144] It contains the first black hole ever imaged, in April 2019, by the Event Horizon Telescope.
M102 Draco ( Ursa Major )[ clarification needed ]This galaxy cannot be definitively identified, with the most likely candidate being NGC 5866, and a good chance of it being a misidentification of M101. Other candidates have also been suggested.
NGC 2770 Lynx "Supernova Factory"NGC 2770 is referred to as the "Supernova Factory" due to three recent supernovae occurring within it.
NGC 3314 (NGC 3314a and NGC 3314b) Hydra exact visual alignmentThis is a pair of spiral galaxies, one superimposed on another, at two separate and distinct ranges, and unrelated to each other. It is a rare chance visual alignment.
ESO 137-001 Triangulum Australe "tail" featureLying in the galaxy cluster Abell 3627, this galaxy is being stripped of its gas by the pressure of the intracluster medium (ICM), due to its high speed traversal through the cluster, and is leaving a high density tail with large amounts of star formation. The tail features the largest amount of star formation outside of a galaxy seen so far. The galaxy has the appearance of a comet, with the head being the galaxy, and a tail of gas and stars. [145] [146] [147] [148]
Comet Galaxy Sculptor interacting with a galaxy clusterLying in galaxy cluster Abell 2667, this spiral galaxy is being tidally stripped of stars and gas through its high speed traversal through the cluster, having the appearance of a comet.
4C 37.11 230 Mpc Perseus Least separation between binary central black holes, at 24 ly (7.4 pc) OJ 287 has an inferred pair with a 12-year orbital period, and thus would be much closer than 4C 37.11's pair.
SDSS J150636.30+540220.9
15h 06m 36.30s+54° 02 20.9
("SDSS J1506+54")
z = 0.608 Boötes Most efficient star productionMost extreme example in the list of moderate-redshift galaxies with the highest density starbursts yet observed found in the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer data (Diamond-Stanic et al. 2012). [149]
Cosmos Redshift 7 z = 6.604 Sextans Brightest distant galaxy (z > 6, 12.9 billion light-years)Galaxy Cosmos Redshift 7 is reported to be the brightest of distant galaxies (z > 6) and to contain some of the earliest first stars (first generation; Population III) that produced the chemical elements needed for the later formation of planets and life as we know it. [3] [130]

See also

Lists of galaxies

Notes

  1. Excluding the Sun. Using the formula for addition of apparent magnitudes, the added magnitudes of all stars in the Milky Way but our Sun (−6.50) and our Sun (−26.74) differs from the apparent magnitude of just our sun by less than 10^-8. [lower-alpha 5]
  2. 1 2 z represents redshift, a measure of recessional velocity and inferred distance due to cosmological expansion.
  3. quasars and other AGN are not included on this list, since they are only galactic cores, unless the host galaxy was observed when it was most distant.
  4. antiquity – 1913 (based on redshift); antiquity – 1930 (based on Cepheids)
  5. "-log(100^(-x/5)+100^(-y/5))/log(100^(1/5))+26.74 where x=-26.74 and y=-6.5". WolframAlpha. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2013.

Related Research Articles

Quasar Active galactic nucleus containing a supermassive black hole

A quasar is an extremely luminous active galactic nucleus (AGN), powered by a supermassive black hole, with mass ranging from millions to tens of billions of solar masses, surrounded by a gaseous accretion disc. Gas in the disc falling towards the black hole heats up because of friction and releases energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation. The radiant energy of quasars is enormous; the most powerful quasars have luminosities thousands of times greater than a galaxy such as the Milky Way. Usually, quasars are categorized as a subclass of the more general category of AGN. The redshifts of quasars are of cosmological origin.

Serpens Constellation, straddling the celestial equator, consisting of two non-connected parts (Serpens Caput and Serpens Cauda)

Serpens is a constellation in the northern celestial hemisphere. One of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, it remains one of the 88 modern constellations designated by the International Astronomical Union. It is unique among the modern constellations in being split into two non-contiguous parts, Serpens Caput to the west and Serpens Cauda to the east. Between these two halves lies the constellation of Ophiuchus, the "Serpent-Bearer". In figurative representations, the body of the serpent is represented as passing behind Ophiuchus between Mu Serpentis in Serpens Caput and Nu Serpentis in Serpens Cauda.

An active galactic nucleus (AGN) is a compact region at the center of a galaxy that has a much-higher-than-normal luminosity over at least some portion of the electromagnetic spectrum with characteristics indicating that the luminosity is not produced by stars. Such excess non-stellar emission has been observed in the radio, microwave, infrared, optical, ultra-violet, X-ray and gamma ray wavebands. A galaxy hosting an AGN is called an "active galaxy". The non-stellar radiation from an AGN is theorized to result from the accretion of matter by a supermassive black hole at the center of its host galaxy.

Abell 2218 Galaxy cluster in the constellation Draco

Abell 2218 is a large cluster of galaxies over 2 billion light-years away in the constellation Draco.

Reionization Process that caused matter to reionize early in the history of the Universe

In the fields of Big Bang theory and cosmology, reionization is the process that caused matter in the universe to reionize after the lapse of the "dark ages".

Halton Arp American astronomer

Halton Christian "Chip" Arp was an American astronomer. He was known for his 1966 Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, which catalogues many examples of interacting and merging galaxies, though Arp disputed the idea, claiming apparent associations were prime examples of ejections. Arp was also known as a critic of the Big Bang theory and for advocating a non-standard cosmology incorporating intrinsic redshift.

Redshift quantization, also referred to as redshift periodicity, redshift discretization, preferred redshifts and redshift-magnitude bands, is the hypothesis that the redshifts of cosmologically distant objects tend to cluster around multiples of some particular value. In standard inflationary cosmological models, the redshift of cosmological bodies is ascribed to the expansion of the universe, with greater redshift indicating greater cosmic distance from the Earth. This is referred to as cosmological redshift. Ruling out errors in measurement or analysis, quantized redshift of cosmological objects would either indicate that they are physically arranged in a quantized pattern around the Earth, or that there is an unknown mechanism for redshift unrelated to cosmic expansion, referred to as "intrinsic redshift" or "non-cosmological redshift".

Lyman-alpha blob

In astronomy, a Lyman-alpha blob (LAB) is a huge concentration of a gas emitting the Lyman-alpha emission line. LABs are some of the largest known individual objects in the Universe. Some of these gaseous structures are more than 400,000 light years across. So far they have only been found in the high-redshift universe because of the ultraviolet nature of the Lyman-alpha emission line. Since Earth's atmosphere is very effective at filtering out UV photons, the Lyman-alpha photons must be redshifted in order to be transmitted through the atmosphere.

APM 08279+5255 is a very distant, broad absorption line quasar located in the constellation Lynx. It is magnified and split into multiple images by the gravitational lensing effect of a foreground galaxy through which its light passes. It appears to be a giant elliptical galaxy with a supermassive black hole and associated accretion disk. It possesses large regions of hot dust and molecular gas, as well as regions with starburst activity.

HCM-6A Galaxy in the constellation Cetus

HCM-6A is an LAE galaxy that was found in 2002 by Esther Hu and Lennox Cowie from the University of Hawaii and Richard McMahon from the University of Cambridge, using the Keck II Telescope in Hawaii. HCM-6A is located behind the Abell 370 galactic cluster, near M77 in the constellation Cetus, which enabled the astronomers to use Abell 370 as a gravitational lens to get a clearer image of the object.

Galaxy filament Largest structures in the universe, made of galaxies

In cosmology, galaxy filaments are the largest known structures in the universe, consisting of walls of gravitationally bound galaxy superclusters. These massive, thread-like formations can reach 80 megaparsecs h−1 and form the boundaries between large voids.

Huge-LQG

The Huge Large Quasar Group, is a possible structure or pseudo-structure of 73 quasars, referred to as a large quasar group, that measures about 4 billion light-years across. At its discovery, it was identified as the largest and the most massive known structure in the observable universe, though it has been superseded by the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall at 10 billion light-years. There are also issues about its structure.

The Lynx Supercluster was discovered in 1999 as ClG J0848+4453, a name now used to describe the western cluster, with ClG J0849+4452 being the eastern one. It contains at least two clusters, designated RXJ 0848.9+4452 and RXJ 0848.6+4453. At the time of discovery, it was the most distant known supercluster with a comoving distance of 12.9 billion light years. Additionally, seven smaller groups of galaxies are associated with the supercluster. Through electromagnetic radiation and how it reacts with matter, we have been able to find three groupings of stars and two x-ray clusters within the Lynx.

Direct collapse black hole High mass black hole seeds

Direct collapse black holes are high-mass black hole seeds, putatively formed within the redshift range , when the Universe was about 100-250 million years old. Unlike seeds formed from the first population of stars (also known as Population III stars), direct collapse black hole seeds are formed by a direct, general relativistic instability. They are very massive, with a typical mass at formation of ~105 M. This category of black hole seeds was originally proposed theoretically to alleviate the challenge in building supermassive black holes already at redshift , as numerous observations to date have confirmed.

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