NGC 6503 = HT 85 [O'Meara's "Hidden Treasures" list]. Near-edge-on in Draco S of Beta and Gamma UMi. Observed near culmination. Pronounced evenly bright core, no nucleus, fainter extensions on each end. N side of core curved and soft; S side flat and sharper in comparison. This is due to being seen slightly from the N and to dustiness along the S edge. Very impressive. Viewed with 8-24 Pentax primarily at 8 mm [225x].
This galaxy is also one of the few non-Herschel nonstellar objects in the BD catalog about which I posted here as well as blogged some time ago. Here are some additional notes that I made after the observation:
NGC 6503 was discovered by Auwers in his student years (1854) with his own 2.6” Fraunhofer, according to O’Meara. Steinicke confirms this story and gives the aperture in metric units as 6.3 cm. The discovery year is the same in HCNGC, but the aperture is listed as 6.2”. [At least in the version I have, which is fairly recent.] This is obviously a mistake. 6.2” was coincidentally the aperture of the Koenigsberg heliometer with which Auwers found his only other discovery in the 37-object supplement to William Herschel’s catalog that he published in 1862, namely NGC 4402. The Hidden Treasure, NGC 6503, is in Karachentsev’s Catalog of Isolated Galaxies. O’Meara calls it the “Lost-In-Space Galaxy” – “because of its isolation and neglect”.