- Art by Judy Schmidt

NGC 4111 (2014)

Interesting galaxy with a depressing bunch of datasets, all of which were full of cosmic rays. I’ve used three different observations from three different proposals and two different instruments. The detectors were not aligned just right between them all so in some places for the red and blue channels I used the channel mixer to fill in blank areas with data from the green channel to create a continuous-looking image. The edges are quite obvious when the channels are viewed individually.

This is one of those times where I thought I might be crazy. Obviously this is a thin disk and again obviously there is some dust situated at a perpendicular angle to the galactic disk, but there’s something else, too. The squareish bulge of the nucleus is interesting. Oh, some dust is in the upper right corner, too. Hmm. Straining even harder, I notice the faintest perceptible spiral structure within the bright section of that edge-on disk. I imagine it is probably something like VCC 654, which is another lenticular galaxy.

Can’t see what I’m talking about? I don’t blame you. I created an ugly version with the crap sharpened out of it to make it more obvious. Ignore the dust and that blue rectangle and focus on that bright, spindle-shaped white part of the disk. Arms? Arms! It’s typical for lenticular galaxies to have these interesting, symmetrical, almost geometric shapes but I didn’t expect to see any hint of those shapes from an edge view like this.

Curious about this galaxy I did a search and landed on one of Bill Keel’s musings on the matter. Towards the bottom he talks about NGC 4111’s dust but the whole thing provides interesting insight into the general formation and morphology of lenticular galaxies.

This image is possible thanks to the individuals responsible for proposals 5419, 6784, and 10548.

Red: hst_06785_05_wfpc2_f702w_pc_sci
Green: hst_05419_0a_wfpc2_f547m_pc_sci
Blue: HST_10548_36_ACS_HRC_F330W_sci

North is NOT up. It is 21° clockwise from up.

Copyright information:
Hubble data is public domain. I do, however, request that you credit me for the processing of the image if you use it.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.