Maffei 1 - E3

Maffei 1

De Vaucouleurs Atlas Type: E3

Filter: I (stars)

Telescope: KPNO 0.6/0.9-m
North up , East left
Field Dimensions: 14.2 x 10.6 arcminutes

RC3 Type: S0-: pec
RSA Type: -----
Surface Brightness Range Displayed: 16.5-26.0 mag per square arcsec
Absolute Blue Magnitude: -21.4

De Vaucouleurs Atlas Description:

Maffei 1 is the nearest giant elliptical galaxy. It was discovered by Maffei (1968) during a search for T Tauri variable stars in the field of the large HII region IC 1805 , which is close to the north. This highlights the unusual location of Maffei 1 in the sky: it lies in the Galactic plane at l~135o, b~-0.o5. The images shown are from Buta and McCall (1999), who attempted to measure the total magnitude of the galaxy after removing the myriads of foreground stars. Their cleaned image at upper right shows many likely artifacts of the cleaning process, but one feature which is real is the patch of dust lying close north and slightly west of the nucleus. This is shown at much higher resolution in the HST images, which are a total I-band image and the same image after subtraction of a galaxy model. Buta and McCall (2003) used the correlation between reddening and the deficiency in surface brightness in V- and I-band HST images to show that this dust is most likely Galactic in origin.

The distance and extinction of Maffei 1 have been measured by Fingerhut et al. (2003), who used the correlation between effective V-I color index and spectral Mg2 index to derive a visual extinction of AV = 4.67+/-0.19 mag, and two well-established techniques to derive a distance of 3.0+/-0.3 Mpc. Although the extinction is high, the galaxy is so nearby that globular clusters have been detected (Buta and McCall 2003; Davidge and van den Bergh 2005). The IC 342 /Maffei Group is further discussed by Karachentsev (2005).