Object name: NGC7331

Designation(s): NGC7331, NGC7333, NGC7335, NGC7336, NGC7337, NGC7325, NGC7326,

The Deer Lick Group is anchored by NGC 7331. Normally I show my shots with north up. The disk of the main galaxy NGC 7331 is strongly warped. Seen with north up this warp wasn\'t as obvious as it is rotated with east up. Our minds prefer to see spiral galaxies flat like a plate rather than on end. So I gave in and rotated it. The main galaxy is NGC 7331. But there\'s no end of confusion to the NGC objects around this guy. Some sources consider NGC 7325 and 7326 as two double stars below (west) of NGC 7331 and NGC 7327 the elliptical galaxy straight below the right edge of NGC 7331. It is almost hidden by a bright star below it. Other sources consider this to be NGC 7325 with NGC 7326 being the spiral down and to the right of it. But then these sources consider 7327 to be the same object as 7325! There are yet other ways of assigning these three NGC numbers. Now that\'s confusing. And you thought astronomers had all this figured out.

Things get a bit better with the galaxies above (east) of NGC 7331. From left to right just above the galaxy we have 3 bright and one tiny galaxy all with NGC numbers. First is NGC 7337 a spiral found by George Stoney on September 10, 1849. Next is the pair of stars, NGC 7338 Wilhelm Temple saw as a galaxy in 1882. Next is NGC 7335, a tightly wound spiral somewhat smaller than much looser NGC 7337. William Herschel found it on September 13, 1784. It\'s not in either H400 program. The even smaller spiral to the right is NGC 7336. It was seen by George Stoney on September 10, 1849. In this group is NGC 7333 but it is only a tight double star, Herman Schultz saw as a galaxy in 1865, so I\'ll not point it out. Above all this in my photo (further east) is NGC 7340 an elliptical also found by George Stoney on September 10, 1849. It is somewhat above NGC 7337. While SEDS puts the distance at 46 million light-years most now say it is 49 million light-years away based on Hubble Cepheid data. The galaxy may look like a large spiral. It is a spiral, of course, but not large being only about 30,000 light-years across. Ours is a bit over 100,000 light-years across. So it isn\'t as big as it looks. Below NGC 7331 are two double stars visual astronomers took to be galaxies; NGC 7325 by Herman Schultz on September 20, 1865 and NGC 7326 by Lord Rosse himself on October 7, 1874.

So what warped the disk of this galaxy? Good question. While these other galaxies appear close they aren\'t. NGC 7335, 37 and 40 are about 240 million light years away! NGC 7336 is 375 million light years away! All far to far away to have caused the warp. The two galaxies below it are also over 300 million light-years away so not involved.

The galaxy was discovered by William Herschel on September 5, 1784 and is in the original Herschel 400 observing program. My notes on it with my 10\" f/5 pm an average night at powers up to 180x reads: \"5\'x2\' in size. At 180 long and faint. Outer arms become evident at this power. Galaxy appears a bit rounder than the 5x2 size given. I\'d put it at 10\'x3\' (it is 11x3.7 in my image). Dust lane on west side was easy at all powers. A fine object that grows as you study it.\"

The flare at the lower right is due to a bright star just out of the field of view.

Edit: This is one of my first images. Either the night was really bad or I didn\'t get it in focus -- or both. It is in dire need of being retaken. I added an annotated version that just lists the galaxies mentioned in the above text and not the many others in the image.

14\" LX200R @ f/10, L=4x10\' RGB=2x10\', STL-11000XM, Paramount ME