PGC 13696 – Spiral Galaxy is just to the right of the star “Electra” and is barely visible. The brightness of this galaxy is just over 17 magnitudes.
My small telescope with a focal length of 420 mm and F 2.8 with range of 12.7 magnitudes, will not give me a chance to see this galaxy with my own eye. Even my larger 10” telescope with a focal length of 1200 mm and F 4.8 with range of 13.8 magnitudes will not be able to reach for the light, of this galaxy to be able to see with my own eye. The only thing left for me to do, is collect the light of this galaxy with the help of photography and stack the collected light frames, to have a hence I can see it.
In the magnified image you can see a slight thicker, the core in the center of this galaxy.
The light from this Galaxy, travels to us for 1.4 billion light years. Unimaginable distance. I wonder… how this galaxy looks like today? Was there another smaller galaxy on its path and both them already collided?
Or maybe it is covered by interstellar, dense dust or some other object and one day, we will lose sight of it for an indefinite period of time? Even if it happened, the light that was a “witness” with it will reach us with this information, in over a billion years?
Or maybe earlier, because all what happened, whatever it was, took place several million years ago and the “light information” will reach us…. this is how various scenarios of anything what was happened, can be considered. It is fascinating but also a bit overwhelming. Every time I look at such distant objects, I realize what the average life time of a human being is on a cosmic time scale.
A piece of time, how small.