Click on the image thumbnails below to view images from my galaxy gallery.
More information on galaxies can be found below the gallery table.
Galaxies are gravitationally bound aggregations of billions of stars, dust, gas and dark matter. Apart from the stars of our own galaxy (the Milky Way), galaxies are the most common type of deep sky object. Galaxies are also very distant and are far outside the confines of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Because even the nearest galaxy (the Andromeda Galaxy) is nearly 3 million light years distant, galaxies are faint and small and most offer only limited visual detail, even in the largest of amateur telescopes.
With the use of film or CCD cameras, such as were used to image the objects on this page, amateurs with relatively small aperture telescopes can image what the eye cannot see. The galaxies shown on these pages are as much as 50 million light years distant - that is, the light from the galaxies on these pages took up to 50 million years to reach my telescope and camera. Thus, to look at these images is to look millions of years into the past.
Galaxies come in five basic varieties; spiral (barred and non-barred types), elliptical, lenticular, irregular, and peculiar.
The image to the left is of a spiral galaxy named Messier 100 after the 18th century comet hunter Charles Messier. Messier did not realize that this object, which appeared as a faint smudge in his telescope that did not move in relation to the surrounding stars [comets all move across the sky - some very quickly] was a separate galaxy much the same as our own Milky Way galaxy. Messier's goal was to identify the non-moving faint objects he was seeing in his telescope so that he would not mistake them for comets. Messier 100 is a classic example of a spiral galaxy and is seen "face on" from earth.
This next image is of another spiral galaxy similar to Messier 100 but this time, instead of viewing it face on, we are looking at this galaxy "edge on" or from the side. This galaxy does not have a common name and is simply known by the designation NGC4565. "NGC" stands for New General Catalogue and is a list of deep sky objects compiled in the 1880's by J. Dryer
This last image is also of a spiral galaxy, "NGC 253" and is seen not quite edge on as was the case for NGC 4565.