Skip to content
NGC7331 | Hyperion Astronomy



Among the stars of Pegasus, the Winged Horse, are some of the fall sky’s best galaxy groups for backyard observers. Stephan’s Quintet is probably the best-known example of such a compact gathering, comprised of four gravitationally interacting galaxies and a prominent foreground galaxy, projected onto the more distant group by chance. But have you ever heard of the “Deer Lick Group”? No? Well, read on.

A trail blaze on the path to Stephan’s Quintet, NGC 7331 also anchors its own galaxy grouping. It is accompanied by several faint companions, including the smaller spiral galaxies NGC 7335 and NGC 7337, which are probably ten times farther away than NGC 7331. In the 1980s, author Tom Lorenzin bestowed the common name on this galaxy group to honor the Deer Lick Gap, which lies in the mountains of North Carolina. Apparently, Tom had a memorable view of these galaxies from there.

NGC 7335 and NGC 7337 are often erroneously referred to as satellites, but they are not associated with NGC 7331. The two companions glow at around magnitude +14, way too faint for most amateur scopes. NGC 7331, however, can even be spotted with larger binoculars.

Located about 4.5° northwest of Eta Pegasi, near the border of Lacerta, NGC 7331 was discovered in 1784 by William Herschel, and was one of the brightest galaxies overlooked by Messier in his catalog. It appears nearly edge on, tilted at an inclination of 77°. Its structure is remarkably similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy, with a comparable overall mass, spiral structure, distribution of stars, and central supermassive black hole.

Shining with the combined light of a 9th-magnitude star, NGC 7331 appears as a small fuzzy patch when viewed through binoculars. With an 8-inch telescope, a bright core appears and the beginnings of wispy arms. At 12-inches in aperture, spiral patterns emerge, and with good seeing conditions you will observe “patchiness” in the structure. Nebulous areas are revealed and the western half of the galaxy is deeply outlined with a dark dust lane.


Capture Details

Location: Southern Arizona

Telescope: OOUK AG16 @ F/3.8

Mount: Paramount MEII

Camera: Atik 11000

PRISM v10: Planning, Autofocus, Plate Solve, Automation, Automation, Pre-processing

AstroPixel Processor: Post-Processing

Data Details

L: 58 x 300s binned 1x1

R: 12 x 300s binned 1x1

G: 12 x 300s binned 1x1

B: 12: 12 x 300s binned 1x1


Previous article How to measure sharpness in your images
Next article M63 The Sunflower Galaxy


Vikrant Kumar Agnihotri - September 8, 2019

Excellent Image

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields

★ Reviews

Let customers speak for us

24 reviews
Great device and excellent service.

This is my first experience with Hyperion. I had quick shipping and good service. The eagle is an excellent device for controlling my telescope and camera. It is a powerful pc.

Really does the job...

For those who have the Eagle, the ECCO is a great device to monitor and adjust the dew heater. It is very easy to install. You do a short calibration in the advanced settings, be sure the sensor is properly placed, plug in the cables and bingo--all done. Highly recommend it.

Great Software

Amazing program, so much you are able to do with it. Very costomizable. Great software support as well, quick replies and helpful. As an amateur astrophotographer it’s pretty easy to learn and the program can grow with you as you dive into the more advanced features.

Successful imaging

I am still learning all the capabilities of Prism, and so far very pleased. I have had several nights so far, after easy setup, of sound sleep waking up to multiple quality subs. I have tried many automation software packages and very happy with Prism.
I asked about some simple issues on initial setup, and customer support was very fast and super friendly.
Give Prism a try.

Nice compact Setup

This is a nice and easy-to-use short focus Newtonian with a very good mounting. A basic knowledge of astronomy is needed to properly use this telescope, as the telescope needs to be colimated to get best results. The mounting needs to be properly oriented to the sky as well.