Unistellar Citizen Astronomers are invited to participate in this week’s quest to observe the Hidden Galaxy!
This relatively close galactic neighbor is veiled by the interstellar gas and dust of our Milky Way Galaxy, making this week’s challenge harder than most.
- The Hidden Galaxy, officially known as IC 342 or C5, is an intermediate spiral galaxy
- Intermediate spiral galaxies fall between the categories of spiral galaxies (like the Whirlpool Galaxy, M51) and barred spiral galaxies (like the Superman Galaxy, NGC 7479).
- A large amount of dust and gas from the galactic equator of our own Milky Way Galaxy lies between us and IC 342, making it a real challenge to observe. If IC 342 were located elsewhere, it would be one of the brightest galaxies in our night sky! This is why IC 342 is known as the “Hidden Galaxy.”
- Located about 11 million light years away and stretches about 75 thousand light years across
- It can be found in the constellation Camelopardalis
- Camelopardalis means “camel-leopard” in Greek. This is how the ancient Greeks referred to giraffes, with the long neck of a camel and spots of a leopard!
- It was discovered by astronomer William Frederick Denning in 1890, using a 10″ reflector telescope in Bristol.
- He was well-known as a comet hunter and for his observations of Jupiter’s red spot.
Tips for Observing:
- Search for “IC 342” in the Explore tab of the Unistellar app.
- Remember, this will be a harder challenge than usual because this galaxy is located in the galactic equator region in our night sky, meaning there is a large amount of dust and gas from the Milky Way in between us and IC 342.
- Depending on the level of light pollution at your location, you may want to leave the Enhanced Vision mode on for at least 30 minutes, possibly up to an hour or longer, in order to get a good image of this galaxy.
- Recommended Bortle Class is 5 or lower.
eVscope image captured by Unistellar Citizen Astronomer Jean-Marie Laugier, from France.
We encourage you to share your images of IC 342 and join the conversation through our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages using the hashtag #UnistellarChallenge!
If you’d like to send us your images of IC 342 by email, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clear skies! 🔭