Circinus Galaxy

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Circinus Galaxy
A Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image of the Circinus Galaxy.
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Constellation Circinus
Right ascension 14h 13m 9.9s[1]
Declination −65° 20′ 21″[1]
Redshift 426 ± 25 km/s
Distance 13 Mly
Type SA(s)b[1]
Apparent dimensions (V) 6′.9 × 3′.0[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 12.1[1]
Other designations
ESO 97-G13,[1] LEDA 50779
See also: Galaxy, List of galaxies

The Circinus Galaxy (ESO 97-G13) is a Seyfert galaxy[2] in the Circinus constellation - and one of the closest to the Milky Way[3] (see also NGC 185). It is only 4 degrees below the Galactic plane, and 13 million light-years away. The galaxy is undergoing tumultuous changes, as rings of gas are being ejected from the galaxy. The outermost ring is 700 light-years from the center of the galaxy and the inner ring is 130 light-years out. Although the Circinus galaxy can be seen using a small telescope, it was not noticed until 1977[4] because it lies close to the plane of the Milky Way and is obscured by galactic dust. The Circinus Galaxy is a Type II Seyfert galaxy and is one of the closest known active galaxies to the Milky Way, though it is probably slightly further away than Centaurus A.

Circinus Galaxy was a home for SN 1996cr, that has been identified over a decade after it exploded. The supernova was first singled out in 2001 as a bright, variable object in a Chandra image, but it was not confirmed as a supernova until years later.

The Circinus Galaxy is one of twelve large galaxies (the "Council of Giants") surrounding the Local Group in the Local Sheet.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for ESO 97-13. Retrieved 2007-04-20. 
  2. ^ "SIMBAD Astronomical Database". Results for ESO 97-13. Retrieved 2007-04-20. 
  3. ^ Maiolino, R.; Krabbe, A.; Thatte, N.; Genzel, R. (1998). "Seyfert Activity and Nuclear Star Formation in the Circinus Galaxy". The Astrophysical Journal. 493 (2): 650–65. arXiv:astro-ph/9709091free to read. Bibcode:1998ApJ...493..650M. doi:10.1086/305150. 
  4. ^ Inglis, Mike (2004). Astronomy of the Milky Way: Observer's Guide to the Southern Sky. New York, New York: Springer. p. 31. ISBN 1-85233-742-7. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: Sky map 14h 13m 9.9s, −65° 20′ 21″