Constellation Pegasus: Facts & Notable Features
Stephan’s Quintet is a cluster of five galaxies. CREDIT: NASA and European Space Agency (ESA)
Pegasus, a constellation in the northern sky, was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the constellation is high in the sky starting near the end of summer and continuing through autumn. If you are below the Equator, look for Pegasus in late winter and through spring.
Among Pegasus’ more remarkable features are its numerous galaxies and objects.
A Messier object, M15, is a globular cluster of magnitude 6.4 about 34,000 light-years from Earth. It is one of the most densely packed clusters in the Milky Way galaxy.
NGC 7331 is a spiral galaxy about 38 million light-years away. It was one of the first objects to be described as “spiral.”
Einstein’s Cross, a quasar, is an excellent example of gravitational lensing. The quasar is about 8 billion light-years from Earth, and sits behind a galaxy that is 400 million light-years away. Four images of the quasar appear around the galaxy because the intense gravity of the galaxy bends the light coming from the quasar.
Stephan’s Quintet is actually a cluster of five galaxies that is 300 million light-years away…