NGC 5985, NGC 5982 and NGC 5981




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NGC 5985, located in the constellation Draco, is an aesthetically beautiful barred spiral galaxy that has attracted the astronomers’ interest with its multiple spiral arms. Many studies around its dark matter halo, based on NGC 5985’s rotation speeds vs. luminous mass, can be found in the scientific literature. It was discovered by William Herschel in 1788.

At a distance of approximately 140 million light-years from Earth, NGC 5985 boasts a prominent bar running through its central region, a characteristic that plays a crucial role in shaping its overall structure. The bar serves as a hub for stellar activity, influencing the distribution of gas, dust, and stars within the galaxy. This dynamic environment gives rise to a myriad of astronomical phenomena, notably the conspicuous star formation taking place in the bluer spiral arms.

NGC 5985 is classified as a Seyfert galaxy, having an active galactic nucleus (AGN) with a supermassive black hole at its center. The elliptical galaxy in the center of the image is NGC 5982 and the seemingly spiral galaxy on the upper left of the image is NGC 5981. All three galaxies have similar redshifts/distances from us although it is uncertain that they are close enough to be interacting gravitationally.

Additional Information


Name(s): NGC 5985

Type: Barred Spiral galaxy

RA:  15h 39m 36s

Dec: +59º 20’ 03”

Constellation: Draco

Size (arcmin): 5.5 x 3.0 arcmin

Magnitude: +14.1

Distance: 141 MLy


Date: 2023-03-27 to 2023-05-24

Location: Curiosity2 Observatory, New Mexico Skies, Mayhill, NM, USA

Size (arcmin): 28×28 arcmin

Telescope: 24” (61 cm) f/6.5 Reflector

Camera: FLI PL16803 (4096x4096pix)

Guiding: Astrodon MonsterMOAG off-axis guider

Total exposure: 19 hours (L: 9h; RGB: 10h)

Processing: CCDStack, PixInsight (one step) and Photoshop CC 2023

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