NGC 221 - cE2

NGC 221

De Vaucouleurs Atlas Type: cE2

Filter: g

Telescope: Pal. 1.5-m
North up , East left
Field Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.8 arcminutes

RC3 Type: cE2
RSA Type: E2
Surface Brightness Range Displayed: 16.0-25.5 mag per square arcsec
Absolute Blue Magnitude: -16.0

De Vaucouleurs Atlas Description:

M32 is the nearest example of a compact elliptical galaxy. These are characterized by a small size, low luminosity , and a high surface brightness, and are usually only found in the vicinities of massive giant galaxies. A recent numerical study by Bekki et al. (2001) suggests that M32 represents an early-type spiral galaxy that encountered M31 several Gyr ago and was ``threshed" of its disk by an interaction with M31 . M32 would be the dense bulge component that survives the stripping of the disk stars, and which subsequently undergoes a central starburst that further increases the central density and surface brightness.