NGC 253 (Sculptor)

Object image
Fig.1 - Dark dust lanes and patches of great complexity scattered throughout: NGC 253 in Sculptor, one of the brightest galaxies in the night sky, photographed with a 16-inch f/4.5 Dob on an equatorial platform.
Object name: Constellation: Coordinates: Apparent size: Visual brightness:
NGC 253 Sculptor 00h48m / -25°17' 27.5' x 6.8' 7.3 mag

The fascinating spiral galaxy NGC 253 (Sculptor Galaxy, Silver Coin, Silver Dollar Galaxy) in the constellation Sculptor. NGC 253 is a starburst galaxy and is located at the center of the Sculptor Group, one of the nearest groups of galaxies to the Milky Way. It is the brightest galaxy in the Sculptor group and one of the intrinsically brightest galaxies in the vicinity of ours. The galaxy is approximately 11 million light years from Earth and was discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1783 (source: Wikipedia).

Eighty-four 3-minute exposures (252 minutes total exposure) at gain 100, taken on September 5, 2021, September 6, 2021, September 8, 2021 and on October 11, 2023 were added for this shot with Astro Pixel Processor (APP) software and the final image processing was done in Photoshop. Darks, flats, bias and darkflats were used. In Switzerland, the Silver Dollar Galaxy doesn't rise more than 18 degrees above the horizon.

Equipment: Cooled ASI 2600MC Pro camera, TeleVue Paracorr Type II coma corrector, 16" f/4.5 "Ninja" dobsonian telescope riding on a dual-axis Tom Osypowski equatorial platform, Lacerta MGEN autoguider, Lacerta off axis system (field of view comparison: image of the moon with the same equipment).

Search chart
Fig.2 - Search chart for NGC 253. Map © 2023 "The Mag-7 Star Atlas Project", Map is slightly modified. The map can be downloaded here.