On NED, we find much of the same information, but there are a few extra tidbits to pay attention to. Clicking the Redshifts tab (as demonstrated in image 5) and scrolling down reveals a light travel time of 0.201 Gyr, or gigayear, where 1 Gyr is equivalent to 1 billion years. This corresponds to a distance of 201 million light-years.
If we go back to SIMBAD and take the same approach to explore the other members of the Box group, we learn they are not all physically associated. The three main galaxies of the cluster are all at roughly the same distance — NGC 4169 at 195 million light-years, NGC 4174 at 205 million light-years, and NGC 4175 at 201 million light-years — and are thus likely neighbors in space. NGC 4173, on the other hand, is only 67 million light-years away, meaning it is actually a foreground object.
The above approach will return much more information than many people would care to tease through. But let’s assume NGC 4175 intrigued us the most, so we go back to the galaxy’s SIMBAD page and move on to the next step. In particular, let’s look at the sky survey image in the upper right. Notice that above that image, we have a button displaying the option to “query around” the object (image 4).
Clicking that button takes us to a new page showing an object list on the left and an annotated sky survey image on the right, known as the Aladin Lite viewer (image 6). You can hover over objects in the table to turn the location marker green on the image, or vice versa. By default, the list is sorted by the angular distance from the original object you queried. The Otype column shows the classifications of these objects. Clicking on the column header will provide a key as to what these codes mean. One of my favorite objects are quasi-stellar objects, or QSOs, which this image happens to contain. (QSOs, also known as quasars, are the most energetic and distant type of active galactic nucleus — which, you’ll remember, is a broad category to which NGC 4175 also belongs.)
To see how far away the object is, click on the QSO identified in the table, 2XMMi J121226.7+291117, and its SIMBAD page pops up. There we can see that SIMBAD does identify it as a quasar. Then, use the same process as before to navigate to NED. (It’s important you use the same process outlined above, as simply copying and pasting 2XMMi J121226.7+291117 into NED will return an error.) When the NED page loads, navigate to the redshift tab and scroll down to light travel-time, and we find that it has a distance of 9.2 billion light-years. Not too bad for a backyard telescope!