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"The Box," a.k.a. Hickson 61

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#1 Achernar



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Posted 10 June 2013 - 05:59 PM

Recently I revisited Hickson 61, after looking it over with my 10-inch last year. Then I was able to make out NGC-4169, 4174 and NGC-4175, but not the flat galaxy NGC-4173. This time I went out on a better night with the 15-inch and in short order located Hickson 61 again, then NGC-4173. It was much lower in surface brightness than I expected, but all showed their shapes and the other galaxies showed brighter cored consistent with being lenticular or elliptical galaxies. They were tightly grouped together, which made for a great view at 298X. Seeing and transparency were not great, but good. This is a fascinating quartet of galaxies, one of which is a foreground object. NGC-4173 is far closer to us than NGC-4169, NGC-4174 and NGC-4175, all of which have the same space motion indicating they really are related to each other.


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#2 frank5817



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Posted 10 June 2013 - 07:20 PM


This is a very impressive capture. I have seen this Hickson group sketched with a 20 inch scope but this 15 inch scope capture is solid.

Frank :)

#3 kenrenard


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Posted 10 June 2013 - 07:49 PM

Nice work. I would have loved that view. Glad to see it in a sketch. Thanks for sharing.


#4 niteskystargazer



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Posted 11 June 2013 - 10:15 AM


Very good sketch of NGC 4169, NGC 4173, NGC 4174 & NGC 4175 (The Box) :).




#5 PeterDob


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Posted 12 June 2013 - 04:48 AM

Very well done, Taras! Your galaxies look very realistic! Thanks for bringing this lovely group to my attention again because it's been a while since I last saw them.


#6 starquake



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Posted 12 June 2013 - 06:27 AM

Wow, nice catch, thanks for sharing. May I ask what was your NELM that night?

When you folks talk about 15-18-20 inch scopes, I must admit I'm jealous of every inch of aperture you've got. ;)

#7 Achernar



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Posted 12 June 2013 - 11:20 AM

Thanks everyone for the thumbs up, this object was one of many I have sought in between periods of heavy rain, milky skies and clouds. The NELM was probably around 6 or so, skies in coastal Alabama are badly light polluted and polluted too. The fourth galaxy was just barely visible at 298X, and I had to strain to make out the long needle shape profile. The other galaxies were easy to spot, even through a 10-inch they are not challenging to see because their surface brightnesses are high. I'm sure I could find them through a 6-inch. That night was unsually clear so I jumped at the chance to try my luck with the 15-inch, I knew NGC-4173 was not going to appear through a 10-inch. As for large telescopes, I scraped together the money to build the structure myself, and buy the optics. If you can weld, and work with wood and metal, building your own large Dobsonian is very feasible. I opted to be conservative with the design, but it is possible to build a lightweight truss-tube that fits in any car, but offers 15 or 16-inches of aperture. Pretty much anything you would ever care to see would appear through a 15-inch from a dark site, only very remote and therefore extremely faint objects require larger apertures to detect. Even at that, detecting them is the prize.


#8 JimPie


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Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:55 PM

I'll give you another :waytogo: Nice work!

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