NGC 6822 (Barnard's Galaxy) (IC4895)

Distance: 1.6 Million Light Years

Right Ascension: 19 : 44.9 (hours : minutes)
Declination: -14 : 48 (degrees : minutes)

constellation Sagittarius


copyright Robert Gendler 2008


NGC 6822 is an irregular dwarf galaxy of the Magellanic type and the third nearest galaxy to the Milky Way after the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical and the Magellanic Clouds. The galaxy was discovered by Barnard in 1881 using a 6 inch refractor. It is very similar to the LMC with its weak bar and its irregular distribution of bright OB associations and HII regions. In 1925 in a classic paper, Edwin Hubble reported on several bright objects in NGC 6822, later found to represent a grouping of bright star clusters and HII regions. The galaxy is rich in neutral hydrogen gas, the essential fuel of star formation. NGC 6822 started forming stars some 10 billion years ago. Similar to the LMC it has a large intermediate age population of stars of about 3 billion years old, although the galaxy has picked up its star forming rate over the last 100 to 200 million years. Prominent HII regions and scattered clusters of young blue stars are testament to its current constant rate of star formation.