NGC 520

Alt. Designations: ARP 157
Object Type: spiral galaxy
Constellation: Pisces
Distance: 100 mly
Right Ascension: 01h 24m 34.7s
Declination: +03° 47´ 39"
Visual Magnitude: 11.3
Apparent Dimension: 3.4´ X 1.7´
Best Month To View: Oct

NGC 520 looks like a galaxy in the midst of exploding. In reality, itís the exact opposite. Two enormous spiral galaxies are crashing into each other, melding and forming a new conglomerate. This happens slowly, over millions of years ó the whole process started some 300 million years ago. The object, about 100 000 light-years across, is now in the middle stage of the merging process, as the two nuclei havenít merged yet, but the two discs have. The merger features a tail of stars and a prominent dust lane. NGC 520 is one of the brightest interacting galaxies in the sky and lies in the direction of Pisces, approximately 100 million light-years from Earth.