NGC 1055 is an edge-on spiral galaxy that has a prominent nuclear bulge crossed by a wide, knotty, dark lane of dust and gas; the spiral arm structure appears to be elevated above the galaxy's plane and obscures the upper half of the bulge. It is a binary system together with the bright spiral galaxy M-77 (NGC 1068). These two are the largest galaxies of a small galaxy group that also includes NGC 1073, as well as five small irregular galaxies. NGC 1087, NGC 1090, and NGC 1094 appear close, but they are background galaxies. Based on the published red shift, (Hubble Constant of 62 Km/sec per Mpc) a rough distance estimate for NGC 1055 is 52 million light years, with a diameter of about 115,800 light years. The separation between NGC 1055 and M-77 is about 442,000 light years.
NGC 1055 is also a bright infrared and radio source, particularly in the wavelength for warm carbon monoxide. Astronomers believe that this results from unusually active star formation.
Dreyer's description from the New General Catalog(NGC): Pretty faint, considerably large, irregular, extended in position angle 80°, brighter middle, 11th magnitude star north 1 arc minute.
The small 16.3 magnitude galaxy in the lower left of the Kopernik image is LEDA 1164535. The red-shift based distance estimate is 281 million light years.
George Normandin, KAS
December 20th, 2009