NGC 2775 is a magnitude +10.5 spiral galaxy located in the constellation of Cancer, close to its border with Hydra. The galaxy is unusual in that it contains a very smooth nucleus with multiple spiral arms extending outwards from the central region. What makes the spiral arms interesting is their incredible complex detail, tightly wound structures and active star formation. Amateur astronomers should also keep their eye on this galaxy; it's been host to 5 supernovae explosions in the past 30 years and you never know when the next one will go off!

To find NGC 2775 look for the head of Hydra "the Sea Serpent". The asterism of stars that forms the head are ω Hyd (mag. +5.0), ζ Hyd (mag. +3.1), ρ Hyd (mag. +4.4), ε Hyd (mag. +3.4), δ Hyd (mag. +4.1), σ Hyd (mag. +4.5) and η Hyd (mag. +4.3). None of the stars are particularly bright but all can be seen with the naked eye. The galaxy is positioned a few degrees east and slightly north of this grouping.

NGC 2775 was discovered by William Herschel in 1783 and is best seen during the months of February, March and April. The galaxy is located 55.5 million light-years from Earth and has an actual diameter of 70,000 light-years. It's estimated to contain 100 billion stars. NGC 2775 is number 48 in the Caldwell catalogue.

NGC 2775 - Spiral Galaxy (NASA/ESA/AURA/STScI/Robert Gendler)

Finder Chart for NGC 2775

Finder Chart for NGC 2775 - pdf format

NGC 775 can be seen with telescopes of 100mm (4-inch) aperture on dark nights with good transparency. At best it appears as very dim glow of light. The galaxy appears as a nebulous pale streak of light in a 200mm (8 inch) scope at about 120x magnification. Larger 300mm (12-inch) instruments reveal a large and bright oval shaped galaxy with a bright core and some fine mottling in the arms. The beauty of the tightly wound spiral arms is revealed in images taken by the finest telescopes, such as the Hubble Space Telescope. Overall NGC 775 spans 4.3 x 3.3 arc minutes of apparent sky.

The largest galaxy in a small group known as NGC 2775 group. It forms part of the Virgo Supercluster that also includes NGC 2777 and UGC 4781.

NGC 2775 Data Table

Object TypeSpiral Galaxy
Distance (ly)55.5 Million
Apparent Mag.10.5
RA (J2000)09h 10m 20s
DEC (J2000)07h 02m 16s
Apparent Size (arc mins)4.3 x 3.3
Radius (light-years)35,000
Number of Stars100 Billion

Sky Highlights - March 2017

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak now visible with binoculars as it heads towards perihelion

Mercury heading towards greatest elongation east

Minor Planet
Vesta now visible with binoculars and small telescopes.

The Planets
This Month's Guide

Algol Minima
Algol eclipse dates and times for March 2017

Northern Hemisphere
West:- Venus (mag. -4.8 to -4.1 - first half of month), Mars (mag. +1.3 to +1.5), Uranus (mag. +5.9), Mercury (mag. -1.5 to -0.4 - second half of month)
Southeast:- Jupiter (mag. -2.3 to -2.5)
Southwest:- Jupiter
Southeast:- Saturn (mag. +0.5)

Southern Hemisphere
West:- Venus (first half of month), Mars, Uranus
North:- Jupiter
East:- Saturn
West:- Jupiter
Northeast:- Saturn
East:- Neptune (mag. +8.0 - second half of month)

Deep Sky
Naked eye / binoculars:-
Melotte 111 - Mel 111 - The Coma Star Cluster (Open Cluster)
Messier 44 - M44 - The Praesepe (Open Cluster)

Messier 67 - M67 - Open Cluster
Messier 51 - M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)
Messier 97 - M97 - The Owl Nebula (Planetary Nebula)
Messier 101 - M101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)
Messier 65 – M65 – Spiral Galaxy
Messier 66 - M66 - Intermediate Spiral Galaxy
Messier 95 - M95 - Barred Spiral Galaxy
Messier 96 - M96 - Intermediate Spiral Galaxy
NGC 4244 - Spiral Galaxy
NGC 4565 - Needle Galaxy - Spiral Galaxy

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