Re: (IAAC) Fwd: A Galaxy [NGC 3310] Blazes With Star Formation

Hi Lew,

I observerd this galaxy in May during the international telescope meeting at
vogelsberg here in germany. This galaxy contains a huge luminous H II region
called "jumbo" (first reported by Balick and Heckman in 1981). This region
clearly visible on the HST pic. The H II region involves numerous Super Star
Clusters (which are too faint for visual observations). So the "jumbo" was
the intention for my observation (not the galaxy itself). Here is my note on
this galaxy using my 20incher:

Scope : 20" Obsession (LOMO optics inside)
Magnifications : 321x and 432x

NGC 3310:

Under 6,5mag skies this galaxy reveals an inner very bright roundish glow
with a fainter part to the north which gives the galaxy a oval shape. I
noted a very weak spot at the northern periphery of the galxay (only with
adverted vision ~50% of time). This is possibly the region (I compared my
drawing with position in the papers). If so, this may be the most distant H
II region for visual observers. This observation was confirmed by two other

Best regards, Jens

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lew Gramer" <dedalus@latrade.com>
To: "Internet Amateur Astronomers Catalog - Discussion"
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2001 5:39 PM
Subject: (IAAC) Fwd: A Galaxy [NGC 3310] Blazes With Star Formation

> This bright little galaxy is just off the SW corner of the Big Dipper's
> Bowl. Here are three well done observing logs for it. Maybe others have
> a log they'd like to share of this - maybe even containing observations
> of the irregular ring structure, or mottling from star forming regions?
>   http://www.visualdeepsky.org/netastrocatalog/msg01898.html
>   http://www.visualdeepsky.org/netastrocatalog/msg02056.html
>   http://www.visualdeepsky.org/netastrocatalog/msg02209.html
> (Unfortunately, we're in the wrong time of year, or I would love to go
> out and log 3310 myself! If only I could remember it come Spring... :>]
> Clear skies!
> Lew Gramer
> ------- Forwarded Message
> From: Ron Baalke <baalke@zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>
> Subject: A Galaxy Blazes With Star Formation
> To: astro-l@uwwvax.uww.edu (Astronomy List)
> Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 14:40:38 -0700 (PDT)
> PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91109.  TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
> http://www.jpl.nasa.gov
> Contact:  JPL/Jane Platt  (818) 354-0880
> Space Telescope Science Institute/Ray Villard (410) 338-4514
> IMAGE ADVISORY                              September 6, 2001
>      Scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are
> studying the colors of star clusters to determine the age and
> history of starburst galaxies, a technique somewhat similar to
> the process of learning the age of a tree by counting its
> rings.
>      This month's Hubble Heritage image showcases the galaxy
> NGC 3310.  It is one of several starburst galaxies, which are
> hotbeds of star formation, being studied by Dr. Gerhardt
> Meurer and a team of scientists at Johns Hopkins University,
> Laurel, Md.
>      The picture, taken by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary
> Camera 2, is online
> at http://heritage.stsci.edu and
> http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/2001/26 and
> http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/wfpc .  The camera was designed
> and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena,
> Calif.
>      Most galaxies form new stars at a fairly slow rate, but
> starburst galaxies blaze with extremely active star formation.
> Measuring the clusters' colors yields information about
> stellar temperatures. Since young stars are blue and older
> stars redder, the colors relate to their ages.
>      NGC 3310 is forming clusters of new stars at a prodigious
> rate.  The new image shows several hundred star clusters,
> visible as the bright blue, diffuse objects that trace the
> galaxy's spiral arms. Each of these star clusters represents
> the formation of up to about a million stars, a process that
> takes less than 100,000 years. In addition, hundreds of
> individual young, luminous stars can be seen throughout the
> galaxy.
>      The star clusters become redder with age as the most
> massive and bluest stars exhaust their fuel and burn out.
> Measurements in this image of the wide range of cluster colors
> show their ages range between about one million and more than
> one hundred million years. This suggests that the starburst
> "turned on" more than 100 million years ago.  It may have been
> triggered when NGC 3310 collided with a companion galaxy.
>      These observations may change astronomers' view of
> starbursts. Starbursts were once thought to be brief episodes,
> resulting from catastrophic events like a galactic collision.
> However, the wide range of cluster ages in NGC 3310 suggests
> that, once triggered, the starbursting can continue for a long
> time.
>      Located in the direction of the constellation Ursa Major,
> NGC 3310 is about 59 million light years from Earth.  The
> image is based on observations made by the Wide Field and
> Planetary Camera 2 in March 1997 and September 2000. The
> Hubble Heritage Team created the color rendition of the
> combined images.
>      The Space Telescope Science Institute is operated by the
> Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc.,
> for NASA, under contract with the Goddard Space Flight Center,
> Greenbelt, Md.  The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of
> international cooperation between NASA and the European Space
> Agency.  JPL is a division of the California Institute of
> Technology in Pasadena.
>      Additional information about the Hubble Space Telescope
> is available at http://hubble.stsci.edu.  More information
> about the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 is available at
> http://wfpc2.jpl.nasa.gov
>      Image Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
> Acknowledgment:  G.R. Meurer and T.M. Heckman (JHU), and C.
> Leitherer, J. Harris and D. Calzetti (STScI), M. Sirianni
> (JHU)
>                         #####
> ------- End of Forwarded Message
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