DEEP SKY OBSERVING
October 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.
2
NGC 637 CAS OC 3.5'
8.2
01 43 04
64 02 12
13.1" (12/7/85): rich cluster of two dozen stars arranged in an arc. There are five bright stars including a mag 10/11.2 double star at 9" separation.

2
NGC 559 CAS OC 4.4'
9.5
01 29 30
63 18 00
17.5" (11/2/91): about 50 stars mag 10-15 at 220x in a 6'x4' region. Fairly compact and rich with an irregular outline. Includes a thin isosceles triangle of three mag 10 stars with the base to the S. The SE star in this base is a close unequal double. A number of the stars are arranged in strings including four mag 13-14 stars over haze trail from base to the N. Also four mag 8/9 stars precede the cluster to the NW in a 10' string.

4
Sh2-186 CAS BN 1.0'
01 08 51
63 07 37

2
NGC 654 CAS OC 5.0'
6.5
01 44 00
61 53 00
17.5" (11/6/93): fairly faint, fairly small, slightly elongated SW-NE, weak concentration. Nearby are a mag 15 star 50" NW and two mag 14 stars 1.8' WSW and 2' SSW.

4
Sh2-187 CAS BN 2.0'
01 23 07
61 51 43

2
NGC 381 CAS OC 6.0'
9.3
01 08 18
61 35 00
17.5" (8/16/93): 40 stars mag 11-15 in loose 6' diameter, stands out best at 100x. The brightest mag 10.8 star is part of a triple along the north side. Fairly uniform in mag 12/13 stars with a scattering of faint stars, fairly even distribution with no rich regions. Not recognizable as a cluster at 220x.

2
NGC 663 CAS OC 16.0'
7.1
01 46 17
61 13 06
13.1" (10/20/84): ~75 stars, fairly large, rich, many doubles including 153 = 9.7/10.9 at 8" and 152 = 9.4/10.9 at 9" and 151 = 10.7/11.2 at 7".

2
NGC 659 CAS OC 4.0'
7.9
01 44 24
60 40 12
13.1" (10/20/84): ~20 stars in cluster, not impressive. Located 80' E of M103.

1
M103 CAS OC 6.0'
7.4
01 33 22
60 39 30
13.1" (10/20/84): 50-60 stars in cluster, fairly rich. Includes several bright stars in a distinctive triangular wedge shape (mag 7.3 SAO 11822, mag 8.9 SAO 11824, mag 8.3 SAO 11826 and mag 8.3 SAO 11829) with a bright orange star east of center.

2
NGC 436 CAS OC 5.0'
8.8
01 15 58
58 49 00
17.5" (8/16/93): 40 stars mag 10-15 in 4' diameter. Includes a rich 1.5' region with 15 stars with a nice triple star in a tight equilateral triangle. Other brighter stars in this grouping form a pentagon outline. Three equally spaced mag 9-10 stars oriented E-W begin just off the S side. Several sprays of stars emanate out in various directions from the central region.

4
Sh2-188 CAS PN 9.0'
01 30 30
58 23 30
PK 128-4.1 This huge filamentary complex was discovered at the Simiez observatory in Russia in 1951 and was relisted in a survey by Sharpless in 1959. Jay McNeil provided me with background information on this interesting object. Both Simiez and Sharpless classified this object as an emission object and at one point it was considered both an HII region and a SNR based on its wispy appearance (like a dim version of Pickering's Wedge in the Veil). It wasn't until the 90's that Simeiz 22 first appeared in PNe lists and it is now considered an ancient, crescent-shaped planetary similar to the Medusa Nebula (Abell 21). The best view of this phantom object was at 100x (20 Nagler) using an OIII filter. With averted vision, a large, low surface brightness glow was visible, elongated ~E-W and perhaps 8' in length with a better defined southern edge. Several mag 13-14 stars are superimposed. It wasn't easy to identify this planetary (definitely not your garden-variety type).

1
NGC 457 CAS OC 13.0'
6.4
01 19 33
58 17 24
17.5" (9/19/87): ~150 stars in a beautiful cluster including mag 5 Phi 1 and mag 7 Phi 2 Cassiopeiae. Includes many mag 14-15 stars.

1
NGC 651 PER PN 167.0"
12.2P
01 42 19
51 34 35
17.5" (9/26/92): moderately bright, fairly small, elongated 4:3 WSW-ENE, prominent core, bright stellar nucleus. Bracketed by two mag 14 stars 75" SW and 75" NE.

1
NGC 650 PER PN 167.0"
12.2P
01 42 19
51 34 35
18" (10/19/06): superb view at 225x using a UHC filter. The main bi-polar body was very bright, elongated ~SW-NE and dominated by two large, irregular knots at either end. The SW knot is brighter and the brightest portion is more elongated in the direction of the minor axis. Both knots are somewhat irregular in shape and brightness. A faint star is just off the SW end. The two bright knots are attached with a fainter bridge of nebulosity. Extending off the north end is a large "arm" that sweeps around towards the west and a slightly less obvious counterpart is attached at the south end and sweeps towards the east. The overall effect mimics a photograph of a barred spiral galaxy or perhaps a rotating sprinkler head with jets of water curving away.

1
NGC 752 AND OC 49.0'
5.7
01 57 48
37 51 00
17.5" (11/1/97): easy naked-eye cluster, overfills the 100x field (20mm Nagler). The brightest star is a yellowish mag 7 star just south of center which has two equal mag companions to the south forming an isosceles triangle. There are no dense regions and the many brighter mag 9-10.5 stars are pretty evenly distributed throughout the field. Many of the stars appear to be arrange in long strings and arcs, though. There are perhaps 150 stars in the field (difficult to count) with a few nice pair and trios. Off the SW side just out of the field is a wide bright pair of mag 5.7/5.9 stars at 3.6' (naked-eye). The western of these two stars (56 Andromedae) has a striking orange-red hue and a faint companion.

3
AGC 262 AND GXCL 100.8'
13.3
01 52 48
36 08 00
NGC 708 Abell 262 is somewhat unusual in that most of the bright galaxies are spirals rather than ellipticals or SOs. Although the core of the galaxy cluster includes a rich concentration of nine NGC galaxies, the cluster has been classified as irregular--clumpy but not dominated by any bright galaxies and only mildly concentrated toward the center. Over 100 galaxies within Abell 262 (down to magnitude 15.7 photographic) are catalogued in the Catalog of Galaxies and Clusters of Galaxies (CGCG); this provided my starting point. In addition, many of the spirals (those with major diameters of at least one arcminute) are catalogued in the Uppsala General Catalog of Galaxies (UGC), which provides magnitudes, diameters, position angles, galaxy types and additional notes of interest.

2
NGC 404 AND GX 3.4'x3.4'
11.2B
01 09 28
35 42 08
17.5" (10/13/01): bright, fairly large, round, at least 2' diameter. Contains a bright 30" core which increases steadily to a bright stellar nucleus. Located 7' NW of mag 2.1 Beta Andromedae (Mirach) which detracts somewhat from viewing.

3
HCG 10 AND GX4 3.6'x1.3'
12.3V
01 26 21
34 42 23
NGC 536, NGC 531, NGC 542, NGC 529 -Hickson 10 is one of the brighter Hickson groups. Hickson 10A (NGC 536) is moderately bright, slightly elongated WSW-ENE. A mag 13 star is involved at the N edge. Hickson 10B (NGC 529) located 8.5' W is also moderately bright, fairly small, with a bright core. Hickson 10C (NGC 531) is faint, fairly small, oval SW-NE, fairly small. A mag 12 star is just off the NE end 1.0' from center. Forms a 3' pair with Hickson 10D (N542) which is also faint, diffuse, slightly elongated.

3
N0513 AND GX 0.9'x0.6'
13.9P
01 24 26
33 47 59
13.1" (8/8/86): fairly faint, small, elongated WSW-ENE, weak concentration. Located at the NE end of a line of four mag 12-13 stars which extend to SW; the closest mag 13.5 star is 0.9' SW and is followed by a second parallel line of stars. N512 lies 9' NW. Incorrect RA by 0.6 minutes W in the RNGC and plotted incorrectly on the U2000.

2
N0499 PSC GX 1.8'x1.2'
12.1V
01 23 11
33 27 36
13.1" (8/8/86): moderately bright, moderately large, very bright core with a much fainter halo! Third of three with N495 3.3' WNW and N496 4.2' N.

3
N0410 PSC GX 2.4'x1.7'
12.5B
01 10 58
33 09 06
17.5" (12/23/89): moderately bright, moderately large, slightly elongated, broadly concentrated halo, stellar nucleus. In a trio with N407 5' WSW and N414 5' SE.

2
N0604 TRI BN 1.5'
01 34 32
30 47 02
18" (12/10/07): bright, large HII knot in M33 at the end of the spiral arm that trails to the east on the north side of the core. A mag 10.5-11 star is located 1.5' SE and N604 is elongated 3:2 in the direction of this star. The outline is oval, though a bit irregular, particularly on the east side. It appears brighter and mottled on the NW side and with direct vision a slightly brighter stellaring is embedded near the NW end.

1
M33 TRI GX 65.6'x38.0'
6.3B
01 33 50
30 39 37
17.5" (11/1/86): bright, very large, elongated 3:2 SSW-NNE, weakly concentrated irregular halo, rises suddenly to a small bright core. Two prominent spiral arms form an "S-pattern" with an irregular surface brightness. At least a dozen HII regions or clusters are resolved (see the numerous IC listings). Overall, the entire galaxy is very mottled and the outer extent is difficult to define. Naked-eye threshold 25% of time in very dark skies.

4
Shk-177 TRI GX10 1.1'
16.27
01 54 42
29 26 00

2
N0672 TRI GX 7.5'x2.3'
11.5B
01 47 54
27 25 59
13.1" (11/5/83): fairly bright, elongated 5:2 WSW-ENE, even surface brightness. Bracketed by a mag 13.5 star 2.2' WNW and a mag 13 star 3.2' E. Brightest in a group with IC 1727 8' SW.

2
NGC 772 ARI GX 7.2'x4.2'
11.1B
01 59 19
19 00 13
18" (12/3/05): bright, very large, elongated 4:3 WNW-ESE, roughly 4'x3'. The halo is nonsymmetric and more extensive on the NW side with a very strong impression of a spiral arm attached on the north side and sweeping to the west (confirmed on image). Forms a pair with much fainter N770 3.5' SSW.

1
M74 PSC GX 10.5'x9.5'
10.0B
01 36 41
15 47 00
17.5" (8/31/86): bright, large, round, very bright core. A spiral arm is attached at the east side of core winding towards the west along the south side. A dark gap is visible between the arm and the main central portion. Several stars are superimposed in the halo.

3
N0660 PSC GX 8.3'x3.1'
12.0B
01 43 02
13 38 39
17.5" (12/18/89): fairly bright, large, oval SW-NE, broadly concentrated halo, mottled. A mag 14 double star is 1.8' ESE of center. Located 10' SE of mag 8.1 SAO 92589. UGC 1195 lies 22' NNW.

3
N0514 PSC GX 4.2'x2.7'
12.2B
01 24 04
12 54 59
17.5" (1/1/92): fairly faint, fairly large, 2.5'x2.0', elongated ~E-W, broad weak concentration, edges fade into background, low surface brightness but granular or mottled texture. Located 3.1' WNW of a mag 9.5 star. A mag 13.5 star is 3.4' SW. Several faint stars are very close including a mag 14 star at the NE edge and a mag 15 star at the S edge 1.5' from center.

3
N0665 PSC GX 2.4'x1.6'
13.2B
01 44 56
10 25 23
17.5" (12/18/89): fairly faint, fairly small, oval WNW-ESE, prominent core, bright nucleus. Brightest in a group of four with IC 154 14' NNE, IC 156 11NE and CGCG 437-020 6' SE.

4
Shk-39 PSC GX13 3.3'
16.8
01 15 12
09 38 00

2
NGC 524 PSC GX 2.7'
11.3B
01 24 47
09 32 19
18" (12/3/05): very bright, large, round, well concentrated with a bright core increasing to a very bright small nucleus. The halo extends to 2.0' or 2.5'. A mag 11 star lies 2.3' S of center. Brightest in a large group of 8 NGC galaxies and a few IC galaxies.

4
Shk-43 PSC GX8 3.5'
16.5
01 35 48
08 16 00

4
Shk-34 PSC GX9 1.6'
16.7
01 02 00
06 23 00

3
N0706 PSC GX 1.8'x1.3'
13.2B
01 51 50
06 17 44
17.5" (12/18/89): fairly faint, fairly small, almost round, almost even surface brightness but faint stellar nucleus seen at moments. A mag 13 star is 1.0' N of center. N693 lies 22' SW.

3
N0741 PSC GX 2.9'x2.8'
12.2B
01 56 21
05 37 44
17.5" (11/6/93): moderately bright, round, prominent core, faint stellar nucleus at moments, larger halo with averted. A mag 11 star is 2.4' NW. In a common halo with N742 attached at the east end 0.8' separation in pa 100. Also forms a close triple with MCG +01-06-006 1.5' NNW. Brightest in a group.

2
NGC 488 PSC GX 6.6'x5.3'
10.2V
01 21 46
05 15 26
17.5" (11/1/86): bright, large, very bright core, oval 4:3 ~N-S. A mag 11 star is at the south edge just 1.6' SSE of center and a mag 10 star lies 3' SW. Located 9' W of mag 8.3 SAO 109832. In a group with N490 8' NE, N488 5.5' N and N500 18' NE.

3
N0718 PSC GX 2.3'x2.0'
12.6B
01 53 13
04 11 46
17.5" (11/6/93): moderately bright, fairly small, round, increases to very small prominent core, stellar nucleus, very faint larger halo 1.5' diameter.

4
Shk-44 CET GX9 2.8'
16.5
01 38 18
02 36 00

3
N0428 CET GX 4.1'x3.1'
11.9B
01 12 55
00 58 53
13.1" (9/3/86): fairly bright, moderately large, oval ~N-S, weak concentration. A mag 13 star is at the NW edge 1.8' from center. Forms the vertex of an isosceles triangle with two mag 8.5 stars SAO 109728 and SAO 109733 6.0' W and 6.0' NNE, respectively.

4
Arp 67 CET GX 1.8'x1.4'
14.0P
01 21 16
-00 32 43
UGC 892 Arp Classification - Spiral galaxy with small high surface brightness companion on arm. In the 20" at 282x UGC 92 is a small faint oval 1'x1.2' in size aligned E-W. It has a brighter almost stellar core with a faint bar aligned NE-SW about .7' in length. Occasionally I would detect an extremely faint outer haze surrounding the oval, this is brighter on the E and W ends. There are two brighter spots in this outer envelope about 1' to the S and SE of the nucleus at the location of the companion galaxies in the Arp photo. There are two other dim galaxies in the field, MCG+0-4-92 about 3' to the WNW, and MCG+0-4-94 about 3' to the S. Both of these are small and faint.

4
Shk-35 CET GX6 0.8'
16
01 03 12
-01 01 00

3
Arp 133 CET GX 1.8'x1.8'
13.0B
01 25 44
-01 22 42
NGC 0541 17.5" (9/19/87): fairly faint, fairly small, bright core, oval SSW-NNE. Slightly fainter than N545/N547 4.4' NE in the core of Abell Galaxy Cluster 194. Also at midpoint with N545/547 and N535 3.7' SW. A bridge of stars and gas connects N541 and the interacting pair N545/547. Embedded in the bridge just NE of N541 is "Minkowski's Object" (not seen) which has a very unusual optical spectrum.

3
AGC 194 CET GXCL 56.0'
13.9
01 29 36
-01 30 00
NGC 541 - 175" to photographic mag 15.5 - 21 galaxies observed by Jeff Medkeff.

4
HCG 12 CET GX5 0.8'x0.6'
15.1B
01 27 33
-04 40 58
M-01-04-052 = Hickson 12a. very faint, small, slightly elongated, ~20" diameter, very small brighter core. Nearly collinear with two mag 11/13 stars 6' SW and 3' SW, respectively. This galaxy is the brightest and only one picked up in Hickson 12. Best viewed at 280x. While searching for this galaxy I picked up M-01-04-040 and its two very faint companions

2
NGC 779 CET GX 4.0'x1.1'
12.0B
01 59 42
-05 57 52
17.5" (11/27/92): bright, fairly large, very elongated 3:1 NNW-SSE in PA 160, 3.0'x1.0', brighter core, substellar nucleus. A mag 11 star is 4.6' SSW of center.

2
N0357 CET GX 2.4'x1.7'
12.0V
01 03 21
-06 20 23
13.1" (9/3/86): moderately bright, small, compact, very bright core. A faint mag 14 star is at the ENE edge. N355 4' WNW not seen in 13.1" but glimpsed in 17.5".

2
NGC 584 CET GX 4.1'x2.2'
11.4B
01 31 20
-06 52 07
17.5" (8/2/86): very bright, moderately large, oval WSW-ENE, very bright large core. Forms a pair with N586 4.5' SE.

2
NGC 596 CET GX 3.2'x2.0'
11.8B
01 32 52
-07 01 52
17.5" (8/2/86): fairly bright, fairly small, very bright core, surrounded by a small faint halo. Located 12' W of mag 5.8 SAO 129371.

4
HCG 14 CET GX4 1.7'x0.8'
15.5B
01 59 49
-07 03 32
M-01-06-020 = Hickson 14a. the brightest of two galaxies viewed in Hickson 14 appears faint, fairly small, elongated 4:3 NNW-SSE, 0.7'x0.5', weak concentration. Easy to located as situated between two mag 8.5/9.5 stars 2.9' NNE and 3.6' S. Forms a pair with M-01-06-022 = Hickson 14b 1.7' SSE. IC 184 lies 13' N. M-01-06-022 = Hickson 14b. very faint, small, elongated 5:2 N-S, 0.6'x0.25'. Located 2' NNE of a mag 10 star which detracts from viewing.

2
NGC 615 CET GX 3.6'x1.4'
12.5B
01 35 05
-07 20 19
17.5" (1/1/92): moderately bright, moderately large, elongated 5:2 NNW-SSE, 2'x1', evenly concentrated halo, very small bright core, bright stellar nucleus. Located 5.4' ENE of mag 8.5 SAO 129385 but otherwise the immediate field is almost devoid of stars.

3
N0636 CET GX 2.8'x2.1'
12.4B
01 39 06
-07 30 47
17.5" (9/26/92): fairly bright, fairly small, round, bright well-defined circular core, very small nucleus. The faint halo increases diameter to almost 2'. A mag 12 star is 3' ENE.

4
HCG 13 CET GX5 1.1'x0.5'
15.6B
01 32 20
-07 51 34
M-01-05-002 = Hickson 13a. the brightest member of Hickson 13 was not seen with confidence at 220x (exact position examined). At 280x, this object momentarily popped into view 1.0' SSE of a mag 15.5 star (not in GSC) and 2' NW of a mag 12.5 star. Appeared too faint to note any details or elongation but the detection was repeated several times.

4
Arp 4 CET GX 1.8'x1.8'
14.5
01 32 58
-12 11 27
MCG-2-5-50 m13.7 sb 15.1 2.8'x2.4' Irr 1h48.5m -1222'. Arp Classification - Low surface brightness spiral galaxy. In the 20" at 317x this galaxy has a very faint core surrounded by a 2' diameter barely detectable brightening of the sky background. At the E edge of this is MCG-2-5-50A, a brighter small galaxy with a stellar core. 50A is actually a distant background object with a redshift over 10 times as much as 50.

2
NGC 720 CET GX 4.6'x2.3'
11.2B
01 53 00
-13 44 21
17.5" (9/26/92): bright, moderately large, elongated 2:1 NW-SE, 2.0'x1.0', well-defined very bright core with dimensions 40"x20". A very faint halo extends the major axis to almost 2' length.

4
HCG 11 CET GX4 1.7'x1.5'
13.4B
01 26 34
-23 13 34
PGC 5362 The brightest member of Hickson 11 was easily picked up at 220x. Appeared faint, moderately large, elongated 4:3 ~N-S, 1.2'x0.9', broad concentration with no well-defined core. Located at the midpoint of a mag 12.5 star 1.4' N and mag 13.5 star 1.3' S. No other members of Hickson 11 were seen.

2
NGC 613 SCL GX 5.5'x4.1'
10.7B
01 34 17
-29 24 58
17.5" (12/4/93): fairly bright, very elongated 3:1 WNW-ESE, 4.0'x1.3', prominent elongated core, almost stellar nucleus with direct vision, broader halo with averted. Southeast of the core there appears to be a very faint extension or large knot (photo shows this to be the bright spiral arm extending from the central bar). Located 2.4' SW of mag 9 SAO 167149.

Source catalogs:

Messier, Arp, Abell Planetary, Abell Galaxy Cluster (AGC), Hickson Compact Galaxy (HCG), Sharpless HII Regions, Barnard Dark Nebulae, Herschel 400, Herschel 400-II, Shahkbazian Galaxy Groups.

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