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Description: Date Taken: May 2004

Discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781.
Distance: 45 million ly
RA: 11h 11m 31.8s Dec: +55deg39'08" (Epoch 2000)
According to Charles Messier's hand-written preliminary and unpublished version of his catalog, M108, similar to M109, was discovered by Pierre Méchain shortly after M97 (which he had found February 16, 1781): Méchain discovered M108 3 days after M97 on February 19, 1781, and M109 on March 12, 1781. Both objects were apparently also observed by Charles Messier when he measured the position of M97 (March 24, 1781), but apparently he didn't find occasion to obtain positions for these objects at that time. Messier listed this object, M108, under number "98" in his preliminary manuscript version of his catalog, without giving a position. According to Owen Gingerich, he measured an acurate position at a later time which he added by hand in his personal copy of the catalog. Both objects M108 and M109 are also mentioned in Pierre Méchain's letter of May 6, 1783, which supports the suspicion that he probably wanted to add them to a later edition of Messier's catalog. The object M108 was finally added to Messier's catalog by Owen Gingerich in 1953.

As the discovery of M108 had not been published, William Herschel independently rediscovered this object on April 17, 1789, and cataloged it as H V.46.

The nearly edge-on galaxy M108 appears to have no bulge and no pronounced core at all, it is just a detail-rich mottled disk with heavy obscuration along the major axis, with few H II regions and young star clusters exposed against the chaotic background -- in a word: "Very Dusty". There's little evidence for a well-defined spiral pattern in this Sc galaxy, which is receding at 772 km/sec. According to Brent Tully, it is about 45 million light years distant, and a member of the Ursa Major cloud, a loose agglomeration of galaxies. Tully classifies this galaxy as SBcd, i.e. very late Sc, and with a bar; the present author can find no evidence for such a notion in the images he knows. (Source SEDS)
Keywords: Galaxy
Date: 25.10.2006 18:54
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Added by: karcher

Caption: Processed with MaxIm DL

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