DEEP SKY OBSERVING
December 2008
by Mark Wagner

Targets are rated 1 to 4 for challenge, with 1 very easy, 4 most difficult. Targets are in a one hour window of R.A., and arranged north to south, for easy star hopping. Available as a Megastar .obs file or Excel spreadsheet.
Rating
 Object  Const.  Type
Size 
Mag 
R.A.
Dec
3
N1184 Cep GX
2.8'x0.5'
13.4P
03 16 07
80 47 36
17.5" (10/20/90): fairly faint, fairly small, edge-on 4:1 NNW-SSE, sharp concentration, stellar nucleus. This is a pretty edge-on system with a bulging core and tapering extensions.

1
NGC 1502 Cam OC
7.0'
6.9
04 07 50
62 19 54
13.1" (1/28/84): bright, striking cluster, 40 stars visible in a trapezoidal outline. The brightest is the striking double 485 = 7.0/7.1 at 18" and the cluster also includes 484 = 9.0/9.5 at 5". Located near the SE end of the chain of stars "Kemble's Cascade".

2
NGC 1501 Cam PN
52.0"
13.3P
04 06 59
60 55 11
18" (11/7/07): superb view at 450x in good seeing. The 1' diameter disc is slightly elongated ~E-W, ~60"x50" with a very narrow, brighter rim and darker center. The mag 14.4 central star was steadily visible. On closer inspection the thin rim was clearly irregular in surface brightness and slightly brighter along the SW and NE sides with a couple of tiny knots embedded in the rim. The slightly darker interior was weakly mottled or patchy with subtle variations in surface brightness.

4
Sh 2-201 Cas BN
4.0'x3.5'
-
03 03 01
60 28 42

4
Sh 2-202 Cam BN
84.0'x60.0'
-
03 18 31
59 38 03

4
Sh 2-204 Cam BN
27.0'x7.0'
-
03 55 28
57 25 45

4
B6 Cam DN
12.0'x5.0'
4
03 56 04
56 060 3
Round; indefinite

4
Sh 2-205 Cam BN
80.0'x23.0'
-
03 56 43
53 11 40

2
NGC 1444 Per OC
4.0'
6.6
03 49 27
52 39 18
17.5" (11/2/91): at 220x, about 20 mag 7-14 stars scattered in a 5' diameter, not rich or impressive. The group mainly consists of a bright double star 446 = 7/9 at 9" with a third fainter mag 13 star 12" NE of the bright mag 7 star. Just W is a line of four mag 10-12 stars oriented SW-NE.

3
N1348 Per OC
6.0'
-
03 34 09
51 25 12
18" (11/23/05): at 225x, this unimpressive cluster appears ~4'x3', elongated NW to SE with roughly 20 stars resolved. Includes two mag 10.5-11.5 stars, a few mag 12 stars with the remainder mag 13-15. The stars are fairly evenly distributed with a couple of tight clumps of stars on the south side. Appears fairly well-detached in a low power field, though not eye-catching. Located two degrees NE of Alpha Persei (Mirphak).

3
N1491 Per BN
21.0'
04 03 02
51 19 46
Sh2-206 - 18" (1/20/07): at 115x and 174x and OIII filter appears as a bright, large, elongated HII region on the west side of an 11th magnitude star. Appears roughly 4'x2', extending SSW to NNE and brighter on the south end. The west side has a fairly hard, well-defined edge while the east side is more irregular and fades into the background. Four faint stars are involved on the northern end and a pair of fainter stars are at the south end.

2
NGC 1245 Per OC
10.0'
8.4
03 14 42
47 14 18
17.5" (12/8/90): about 100 stars at 220x in 10' diameter. Rich in mag 13.5-14 stars and includes four mag 12 stars along the west side. Roughly circular outline and uniform but no concentration to the center, many stars are arranged in lanes. A mag 8.5 star is off the S edge and a mag 9 star is about 5' off the ENE edge.

3
AGC 426 Tau GXCL
190.4'
11.7V
03 18 03
41 34 00
Extremely rich galaxy cluster - too many targets to list here.

2
NGC 1342 Per OC
14.0'
6.7
03 31 36
37 23 00
17.5" (12/23/92): about 100 stars mag 9-14 in 15' diameter, scattered in chains and loops. Two mag 8 stars off the NE side are probably field stars, a nice double star is at the west end. There are several striking star lanes at low power including a long stream oriented E-W. A line of six stars oriented NW-SE forms the SW side and terminates at an easy double star. The NW end is near the striking double star (10.4/11.2 at 14". The field has a large variation of magnitudes.

4
B5 Tau DN
60.0'
5
03 47 53
32 54 00
Indefinite; elongated NE and SW; Eta Persei (mag 5.8) near NE side

4
B2 Tau DN
20.0'
4
03 33 31
32 20 00
Indefinite; elongated SE and NW

4
B3 Tau DN
20.0'
5
03 40 01
31 59 00
Irregular, dark space in nebula; curved, bright strip of nebulosity in SW side

4
B4 Tau DN
38.0'
5
03 44 02
31 49 29
Very large; indefinite

4
B1 Tau DN
30.0'
4
03 32 57
31 10 00
Large, indefinite

4
B205 Tau DN
15.0'x5.0'
5
03 28 32
31 06 11
Two dark strips, 15' long N and S, with BD +30 547 (magnitude 9.3) between them; close SW of BD +30 548 (neb.)

4
B203 Ari DN
30.0'x20.0'
4
03 25 50
30 40 29
Elongated E and W; BD +30 539 (magnitude 9.0) in N ed

4
B202 Ari DN
33.0'x12.0'
4
03 25 38
30 17 00
Elongated NW and SE, 33'x12'

4
B206 Ari DN
5.0'
5
03 29 09
30 12 00
Diffused; diam. 5' plus or minus

4
B204 Ari DN
14.0'
4
03 28 29
30 12 00
Irregular; diam. 14' plus or minus; 15' SW of BD +29 566 (magnitude 6.8)

4
Shkh-180 Ari GX5
0.9'
-
03 17 13
28 55 58

1
M45 Tau OC
110'
1.6
03 47 29
24 06 18
This outrageously bright clustering of stars is worth a look, not only for its beauty in even the smallest of instruments, but also for the challenge to even more experienced mateurs of seeing the delicate patches of nebulosity which are associated with it. At the altitude I saw it at on this morning (< 25 degs), with astronomical twilight already fast approaching, three and possibly four blurs could be distinguished around some of the stars in the Seven Sisters: the central 3 bright stars, Alcyone, Electra, and Maya howed a pale hint of nebulosities merging into each other, while the southernmost bright star, Merope, had its own thin patch of haze. The object as a whole, with just the brightest 30 stars or so, barely fits into a wider-field view, while higher power will bring a more definite impression of the nebulosity out. - Lew Gramer

4
Arp 147 Psc GX
0.7'x0.5'
14.3
03 11 18
01 18 57
IC 0298 - 22" f/4.1 reflector @ 184, 305, 327 and 458x The skies were incredibly steady tonight. So, I’ve decided to go for this ring galaxy again and was surprised at what I saw. This observation took about 30-45 minutes of examination with various magnifications and scope jiggling. IC 298 is a pretty faint round patch. Slightly brighter on the east and south edge. About 20” across. Its neighbor, IC 298A, is a considerably bright, 3:1 elongated patch with a brighter center. PA = 0º and about 20” long. It lies just to the SE. - Alvin Huey

4
Shkh-147 Eri GX7
1.3'
19.57
03 52 22
00 05 55

4
Shkh-148 Eri GX9
3.9'
19.54
03 55 05
00 58 44

4
HCG 025 Cet GX6
1.3x0.6
14.6B
03 20 07
-01 06 29
UGC 02690 - 22” f/4.1 @ 203 and 377x (NELM: 6.8, T: 8/10) At 377x, this nice group of seven galaxies is dominated by a pair of bright galaxies, accompanied by five smaller companions. The largest member shows a very slightly mottled surface, suggesting a spiral while the other large member is obviously an elliptical. Component A (UGC 2690) – This galaxy appears as a bright 2:1 elongated patch with a significantly brighter nucleus. Averted vision shows more area and some slight mottling. Its position angle is 150?. Size is 60 by 30”. A 12th magnitude star lies about 60” west. Component B (UGC 2691) – This elliptical galaxy has a higher surface brightness than UGC 2690 and a little smaller at 45 by 20”. 2:1 elongated oval with a slowly brightening center with a position angle of 170?. This member lies about 4’ almost north of UGC 2690. This galaxy forms a very close pair with PGC 12538, which lies about 20 arc-seconds due south Component C (CGCG 390-70) – This galaxy appears as a faint 3:1 elongated patch with a position angle of 100?. It has an even surface brightness across its 30 x 10” halo. This member forms a very nice close pair with PGC 12530, which lies about 10” due south. Component D (CGCG 390-67) – This small galaxy is faint and round with even surface brightness across its 20”. This member lies about 100” away from UGC 2691 at a PA of 80?. Component E (PGC 12530) – This SSE companion to CGCG 390-70 is a very small faint round disk almost attached. It is about 10” is diameter. Component F (PGC 12538) – This southern companion to UGC 2691 is also a very small faint round patch about 10” in diameter. This member is the same size and brightness as PGC 12530. Component G (PGC 12550) – This galaxy is an extremely faint and very small round disk at less than 10” in diameter. It lies about 90” WSW of UGC 2691. - Alvin Huey

4
Shkh-146 Eri GX6
1.6'
19.79
03 42 02
-01 56 28

3
N1507 Eri GX
3.6'x0.8'
12.9B
04 04 04
-02 11 21
13.1" (12/18/82): fairly faint, edge-on 4:1 N-S, even surface brightness. A mag 10.5 star is 3.4' SSE and a mag 13 star is 1.2' W.

3
Arp 304 Eri GX
3.6'x2.2'
12.0V
03 11 14
-08 55 19
NGC 1241 - 13.1" (12/7/85): moderately bright, round, bright core surrounded by a diffuse halo. Forms a close pair with fainter N1242 1.6' NE. Located 3.0' due S of mag 9.0 SAO 130329.

4
Shkh-275 Eri GX8
2.4'
17.66
03 14 41
-09 09 54

4
Shkh-277 Eri GX8
2.0'
18.74
03 26 20
-10 11 33

4
Shkh-274 Eri GX6
2.0'
19.69
03 09 16
-10 47 37

4
HCG 024 Eri GX3
0.5x0.4
15.7B
03 20 03
-10 51 48
MCG -02-09-031 22” f/4.1 @ 203 and 377x (NELM: 6.8, T: 8/10) At 377x, I’ve seen four of the five in this rather compact group of galaxies. One of the galaxies forms a close double with a 13th magnitude star on the east end and the other pair appears as a double galaxy on the west end. The faintest visible member sits by itself in between the two “pairs”. All four visible galaxies appear as ellipticals. Component A (MCG-2-9-31) – This elliptical galaxy shows a small, faint round smudge with a slightly brighter nucleus. Size estimated to be about 20” across. Component B (MCG-2-9-32) – This galaxy is a small, round, faint galaxy forming a pair with a 13th magnitude star. The star lies less than 30” due north and greatly interfere with this galaxy. This member lies about 2’ due east of MCG-2-9-31. Size is estimated to be about 20” across with difficulty. Component C (PGC 12472) – This member is a very small and very faint round smudge at about 15” in diameter. Lies about 30” west of MCG-2-9-31.Component D (PGC 12492) – This lone member is an extremely faint, extremely small round patch of less than 10” across. It sits 1’ ENE of MCG-2-9-31 and 45” NW of a 13th magnitude star. Component E (PGC 12489) – Not seen - Alvin Huey

4
Shkh-278 Eri GX7
1.2'
17.33
04 05 36
-12 58 56

3
N1421 Eri GX
3.5'x0.8'
12.0B
03 42 05
-13 29 20
18" (1/13/07): fairly bright, fairly large, very elongated N-S, ~3.2'x1.0', broad concentration with a brighter bulging core. The surface brightness is noticeably irregular and mottled with the impression of several brighter patchy knots. Most noticeable is a brighter northern end that appears to contains a small brighter spot. This end also appears to have a small knot or extension that bulges out and angles towards the NE. A mag 13 star is off this NE end. This feature was verified on images.

4
HCG 026 Eri GX6
1.1x0.2
17.0
03 21 31
-13 39 03
MCG -02-09-035 22” f/4.1 @ 377 and 528x (LM: 6.8, T: 8/10) This conglomerate group of galaxies is a group of seven very to extremely faint members. I’ve seen only one faint streak at 377 and 528x. Based on the DSS photo, four galaxies are just about merged within each other, while three members were “well” separated ,which two were barely glimpsed. Of the conglomerate, I’ve seen only MCG-2-9-35, but could not see a brighter notch on the east side as PGC 12614. Next time, I’ll try this on the 30”. Component A (MCG-2-9-35) – This faint and very thin spindle of an aspect ratio of 10:1. Its 50” long spindle has an even surface brightness with no signs of a nucleus. The position angle is about 80?. This is most likely a late-type edge on spiral. Component B (PGC 12614) – Not seen Component C (PGC 12604) – This member is an extremely faint, extremely small round patch less than 10” across. It is located 1’ NW of the west tip of MCG-2-9-35. Component D (PGC 12613) – Not seen Component E (PGC 12605) – This member is an extremely faint, extremely small round patch less than 10” across. It is located 1’ SW of the west tip of MCG-2-9-35. Component F (PGC 12615) – Not seen Component G (PGC 12610) – Not seen - Alvin Huey

4
Shkh-276 Eri GX12
2.0'
17.8
03 16 59
-13 55 02

3
NGC 1407 Eri GX
4.5'x4.1'
13.1
03 40 11
-18 34 48
17.5" (12/11/99): bright, moderately large, round, 1.5' diameter, bright core, nearly stellar nucleus. Brightest in a group of 8 NGC galaxies and IC 343.

2
N1400 Eri GX
2.5'x2.4'
10.9V
03 39 20
-18 41 17
17.5" (12/11/99): fairly bright, moderately large, slightly elongated, brighter core, stellar nucleus. Smaller and fainter than N1407 11' NE.

2
Arp 41 Eri GX
7.6'x6.4'
10.5B
03 09 45
-20 34 52
NGC 1232 - 17.5" (10/8/88): bright, large, slightly elongated, bright core, very large faint halo. Located 8' WSW of mag 8.6 SAO 168347.

3
N1353 Eri GX
3.3'x1.3'
12.4B
03 32 01
-20 49 05
17.5" (11/26/94): fairly bright, moderately bright, elongated 5:2 NW-SE, 2.5'x1.0', large bright core, stellar nucleus. The halo appears more extensive NW of the core. The major axis is parallel to a mag 11.5 star off the SE end 2.8' from the center.

2
N1332 Eri GX
4.6'x1.4'
11.3B
03 26 03
-21 20 04
13.1" (10/10/86): bright, moderately large, very bright core, edge-on 4:1 NW-SE, 2.4'x0.6', faint star just SW of the core. Forms a pair with N1331 = IC 324 2.8' SE (collinear with the major axis). Brightest in a group with N1315, N1319, N1325, N1331 and Holmberg VI (N1325A).

3
N1325 Eri GX
4.7'x1.5'
12.2B
03 24 04
-21 32 36
17.5" (12/28/00): bright, large, elongated 5:2 SW-NE, 3.0'x1.3', broad concentration with a large, brighter core. A bright star is embedded in the NE end. The SW end is better defined and clearly tapers down giving a lens-like appearance but the edge of the halo is more ill-defined to the NE of the star. Second brightest in the N1332 group with N1319 7' W, N1325A 13' NNE, N1315 21' NW and N1332 29' ENE.

4
Arp 39 Eri GX
1.5'x1.2'
13.7P
03 29 42
-22 16 43
NGC 1347 - 17.5" (1/12/02): faint, moderately large, irregularly round, 1.2' diameter, weakly concentrated. A very companion at the south edge was not seen. Located 14' N of mag 7 SAO 168587.

Source catalogs


Herschel 400 are identified as NGCXXXX, Herschel 400-II are indentified as NXXXX.


All descriptions are from Steve Gottlieb's NGC Notes or Adventures In Deep Space unless otherwise attributed.

visitors since August 31, 2007