NGC 205

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NGC 205, also known as Messier 110, is a galaxy located in the constellation Andromeda. The elliptical system is a satellite galaxy to the Andromeda Galaxy.

NGC 205
Observation data: 2000.0 epoch
Constellation Andromeda
Right ascension 00h 40m
Declination +41° 41ˡ
Redshift -0.000804
Distance 2.9 million light years
Type Galaxy
Apparent dimensions 21ˡ X 11ˡ
Apparent magnitude 8.9
Other designations Messier 110

Discovery and observational data

A small companion of the Andromeda Galaxy, NGC 205 is easily found through even modest amateur telescopes in the immediate vicinity of Messier 31 itself. It is of a similar brightness to Messier 31's other satellite system, NGC 221 but because of its larger apparent size it is somewhat more difficult to see as the light from the object is spread out over a larger area of sky.

Charles Messier, a French comet-hunter of the 18th century, discovered NGC 205 in 1773 but did not at that time include it on his list of deep-sky objects. Ten years after Messier's discovery the galaxy was independently discovered by Caroline Herschel and William Herschel included it in his catalog a year later. It was added to the list of Messier objects in 1966 as an unofficial addition.[1]

In 1999 a nova was observed in NGC 205 that reached a maximum brightness of about +17.5.[2] Another possible nova was observed in 2003 - 2004.[3]

Physical data

NGC 205 is classified as an E5 elliptical galaxy and is at a distance from Earth of some 2.9 million light years, similar to both the Andromeda Galaxy and NGC 221. NGC 205 is moving toward Earth at a speed of 241 km/s giving it a blueshift of -0.000804. The estimates of NGC 205's mass range from 3 X 109 and 15 X 109 solar masses.[1] The galaxy was first resolved into individual stars by Walter Baade in 1944 when he observed both NGC 205 and NGC 221 as well as the central regions of the Andromeda "Nebula".[4] NGC 205 is peculiar among elliptical galaxies in that it contains dust that indicate recent star formation.

A total of 8 globular clusters are known to be associated with NGC 205, the brightest of which, G73, is of apparent magnitude +15.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Frommert and Kronberg, SEDS, online at
  2. IAU Circular 7240, August 19, 1999, online at
  3. IAU Circular 8272, January 20, 2004, online at
  4. Walter Baade, The resolution of Messier 32, NGC 205, and the central region of the Andromeda Nebula printed in the Astrophysical Journal, 1944