NGC 404

Alt. Designations: NGC 404
Object Type: elliptic galaxy
Constellation: Andromeda
Distance: 10.3 mly
Right Ascension: 01h 09m 26.9s
Declination: +35° 43´ 06"
Visual Magnitude: 10
Apparent Dimension: 3.5´ X 3.5´
Best Month To View: Oct

NGC 404 is a small lenticular galaxy visible in amateur telescopes near the star Mirach in the constellation Andromeda. NGC 404 is located around 10.3 million light-years away, just outside the Local Group but does not appear gravitationally bound to it. It is notable for being within 7 arc-minutes of Mirach in the night sky, making it very difficult to observe or photograph and granting it the nickname "Mirach's Ghost". This is a good example of two apparently close objects being at vastly different distances due to our line of sight. Mirach is only 200 light years away, while NGC 404 lies at 10.3 million light years. Mirach is classified as a red giant star. It is much cooler than our own sun, but because of its size, shines 1900 times as brightly.