A Peek at IC 5201

The barred spiral galaxy sits in the Southern Sky

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Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

The IC 5201 is located 40 million light years away from us in the constellation of Grus. Grus or the Crane is in the Southern Celestial Hemisphere or the Southern Sky. For the purpose of celestial mapping, the sky is imagined as a sphere divided in two halves by the celestial equator. The celestial equator is a great circle located on the same plane as the Earth’s equator – the imaginary line that divides the earth into two halves. The celestial equator therefore is a projection of the Earth’s equator into outer space.

Hence, the Southern Sky lies to the south of the celestial equator. IC 5201 is a barred spiral galaxy with a bar of stars through its centre. Bar-shaped structures of stars are found in around two-thirds of spiral galaxies.

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