The shells of NGC 3923

One of the biggest surprises to emerge from the photographic amplification process was the detection of faint shells around otherwise apparently normal (but often isolated) elliptical galaxies. Among the most interesting examples was NGC 3923, shown here.

Though it had a faint outer shell revealed by photographic amplification its collection of interleaved inner shells was best shown by the unsharp masking process. This galaxy has since been the subject of much investigation and appears in the Malin-Carter catalogue of ellipticals with shells.
Original plate taken with the Anglo-Australian Telescope