NGC 1553

NGC 1553

NGC 1553
NGC 1553 core by HST. 0.3′ view
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Constellation Dorado
Right ascension 04h 16m 10.5s[1]
Declination −55° 46′ 49″[1]
Redshift 1080 ± 11 km/s[1]
Distance 78.9 Mly(24.2 Mpc)[2]
Type SA(rl)00[1]
Apparent dimensions (V) 4′.5 × 2′.8[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 10.3[1]
Other designations
PGC 14765,[1] IRAS 04150-5554,[1] ESO 157-17,[1] and AM 0415-555[1]

NGC 1553 is a prototypical[3] lenticular galaxy in the constellation Dorado. It is the second brightest member of the Dorado Group of galaxies.[4][5][6] British astronomer John Herschel discovered NGC 1553 on December 5, 1834 using an 18.7 inch reflector.[7]


  • Interacting galaxy 1
  • Characteristics 2
  • Globular clusters 3
  • Spiral feature 4
  • External links 5
  • References 6

Interacting galaxy

It forms a pair of interacting galaxies together with elliptical NGC 1549[8] which lies 11′.8 away from it in the sky.[2] Their interaction appears to be in the early stage and can be seen in optical wavelengths by faint but distinct irregular shells of emission and a curious jet on the northwest side.[2][3] Together, these two galaxies comprise the center of the Dorado group.[8]


NGC 1553 is an early type galaxy with a luminosity of 4×1010 L.[6] It has been detected[9] in H I but has an H I mass to B-band luminosity ratio (MHI/LB) of less than 0.01.[6] NGC 1553's ultraviolet spectrum shows weak flux under the main-sequence turn off at around 2,400 .[3] This is characteristic of old intermediate populations of quiescent lenticular galaxies.[3]

NGC 1553 has an especially well developed lens (~36″)[3] component of nearly constant surface brightness that is found between the bulge and the exponential disk.[10][11] Its lens is similar to what is found in NGC 3945 and its inner parts are very hot.[11][12]

NGC 1553 has associated with itself cool gas and dust.[2] It can also be seen in infrared and is a weak radio source.[2] Hubble observations in 2000 revealed an inner torus-like dust lane about 3″ across at the galaxy's center.[2]

Chandra X-ray imaging of NGC 1553 show diffuse hot gas making up 70% of the emissions, dotted with many point-like sources (low-mass X-ray binaries) making up the rest.[3] Similarly to NGC 4697 and Messier 60, these bright spots are due to binary star systems of black holes and neutron stars most of which are located in globular clusters and reflect this old galaxy's very active past.[2][13] In these systems, material pulled off a regular star is heated and gives off X-rays as it falls toward the accompanying black hole or neutron star.[14] The brightest of the point sources is coincident with the galaxy's optical nucleus.[2][3] Its luminosity and spectrum suggest its being an obscured central active galactic nucleus (AGN).[2][3] This source is visible in the center of the X-ray image of NGC 1553 shown above.[2]

Globular clusters

Globular clusters have been resolved in the galaxy by the Hubble Space Telescope.[2] There are an estimated 600+300
globulars in NGC 1553.[8] Like Messier 87, there is a central deficit of globulars with respect to the underlying luminosity.[8]

Spiral feature

NGC 1553 has a roughly symmetrical X-ray spiral feature (not detected in visible light) with a possible 10″ inner bar in the diffuse emission near the center of the galaxy. This feature is probably due to adiabatic or shock compression of ambient gas perhaps due to interaction with the radio source.[2] emission also has spiral structure which is surprisingly similar to the X-ray spiral.[3]

External links

  • Digital Sky Survey (DSS) visible light image of NGC 1553.
  • NGC 1553 on WikiSky: DSS2, SDSS, GALEX, IRAS, Hydrogen α, X-Ray, Astrophoto, Sky Map, Articles and images


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for NGC 1553. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Blanton, Elizabeth L.; Sarazin, Craig L.; Irwin, Jimmy A. (May 2001), "Diffuse Gas and Low-Mass X-Ray Binaries in the Chandra Observation of the S0 Galaxy NGC 1553", The Astrophysical Journal 552 (1): 106–119,  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Rampazzo, R.; Plana, H.; Longhetti, M.; Amram, P.; Boulesteix, J.; Gach, J.-L.; Hernandez, O. (August 2003), "Warm gas kinematics in shell galaxies", Monthly Notice of the Royal Astronomical Society 343 (3): 819–830,  
  4. ^ Ferguson, Henry C.;  
  5. ^ Firth, P.; Evstigneeva, E. A.; Jones, J. B.; Drinkwater, M. J.; Phillipps, S.; Gregg, M. D. (November 2006), "Kinematics, substructure and luminosity-weighted dynamics of six nearby galaxy groups",  
  6. ^ a b c Virginia A. Kilborn;  
  7. ^ Robert E. Erdmann, Jr., The NGC/IC Project: NGC 1553, Prescott, Arizona 
  8. ^ a b c d Bridges, Terry J.; Hanes, David A. (April 1990), "Globular clusters in the interacting galaxies NGC 1549 and NGC 1553", Astronomical Journal 99: 1100–1107, 1340, 1341,  
  9. ^ de Vaucouleurs, Gerard; de Vaucouleurs, Antoinette; Corwin, Herold G., Jr.; Buta, Ronald J.; Paturel, Georges; Fouque, Pascal (1991), "Third Reference Catalogue of Bright Galaxies", Volume 1-3 (Berlin / Heidelberg / New York: Springer-Verlag),  
  10. ^ Freeman, K. C. (September 9–13, 1974), Hayli, Avram, ed., "Comparison with Observations of Disk Galaxies (invited Paper)", Dynamics of Stellar Systems: Proceedings from IAU Symposium, 69 (Besancon, France, published 1975) 69: 367,  
  11. ^ a b Kormendy, John (March 29 – April 3, 1982), "Observations of galaxy structure and dynamics", IN: Morphology and dynamics of galaxies; Proceedings of the Twelfth Advanced Course (Saas-Fee, Switzerland): 113–288,  
  12. ^ Kormendy, John (November 1, 1984), "The velocity dispersion in the disk of the S0 galaxy NGC 1553", Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 286: 116–131,  
  13. ^ Talcott, Richard (October 2002), "Distant Galaxies Had Wild Youth", Astronomy ( 30 (10): 22,  
  14. ^ NASA/CXC/UVa/E.Blanton et al. (August 30, 2006), NGC 1553: Black Holes in Distant Galaxy Points to Wild Youth, Cambridge, MA: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics