NGC 4631 (also known as the Whale Galaxy or Caldwell 32) is an edge-on spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. This galaxy’s slightly distorted wedge shape gives it the appearance of a herring or a whale, whence its nickname. Because this nearby galaxy is seen edge-on from Earth, professional astronomers observe this galaxy to better understand the gas and stars located outside the plane of the galaxy.
Observation Notes : Very bright, very large, very much elongated 6 X 1 in PA 90, bright middle. At 100X this very mottled galaxy is a rather bizarre shape that members of the Saguaro Astronomy Club call “The Slug”. Discovered in 1787 by William Herschel.
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