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IC 5152, a nearby irregular galaxy

Date created: 1983-02-10

Tags: galaxy, AAT

This small blue galaxy is resolved into stars in this deep AAT picture, which means that it is relatively nearby. However despite its proximity, a recent distance estimate puts it at about 5.5 million light years away, just beyond the Local Group, which is a loose collection of 30 or so galaxies within 2 or 3 million light years of the Milky Way.

Apart from the Milky Way and the similarly massive M31 galaxy in Andromeda, most of our immediate extra-galactic neighbours are light-weight collections of stars and gas like IC 5152, though few (except the Large Magellanic Cloud) show such strong evidence of recent star formation The bright object which appears at the eastern end of the galaxy is an 8th magnitude blue star in the Milky Way.

Photograph made from plates taken in August, 1982.
Top left is NE. Image width is about 9 arc min.

Credit: David Malin

© Australian Astronomical Observatory