NGC 2841 - Tiger's Eye Galaxy
NGC 2841 is a galaxy about 50 million light years away. It was discovered in 1788 by Wilhelm Herschel. It is a spiral galaxy of type Sa, which means that it has particularly tightly wound spiral arms and shows no bar. The total mass of the galaxy is about 500 billion solar masses and it has a particularly high density.
If the light of a star in our galaxy travels two kiloparsecs (= 32,600 light years), the star appears fainter by an average of about two orders of magnitude (magnitudes). The same star would appear a full 13 orders of magnitude darker in NGC 2841! In the image we see the dense dark dust bands of the galaxy disk. Here are huge star forming regions that are only a few hundred million years old.
The spectrum of the galaxy nucleus is characteristic of LINER galaxies. The acronym LINER stands for low-ionization nuclear emission region, i.e. a galaxy nucleus that shows spectral lines of atoms with low ionization, for example oxygen atoms from which an electron has been torn away. The energy required for this ionization could either come from an active galaxy nucleus with an accretion disk around a massive black hole or from the intense star formation
Photographed from Heidelberg, Germany under Bortle 7 conditions.