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Observing >> Deep Sky Observing

Pages: 1

Reged: 01/07/08

Loc: Western New York
NGC 6503
      #5554462 - 12/04/12 07:06 PM Attachment (49 downloads)

Just some notes and a sketch that I thought might be of interest. My journal records of the observation made this May with my 16" from Cherry Springs:

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”.

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Vendor (

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: NGC 6503 new [Re: IVM]
      #5555898 - 12/05/12 03:56 PM

My notes on same galaxy, 12.5", about 2006:
brite,long oval,v.slight ctr britening,diffuse ends,brite streak down ctr of long axis,med.size, elongation about 3:1

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Old Rookie

Reged: 09/05/08

Loc: North Central Ohio
Re: NGC 6503 new [Re: Starman1]
      #5555956 - 12/05/12 04:34 PM

Just caught this one on my driveway with the club's 8" dob at 244x.
pretty faint, pretty small, oval, moderatedly extended, uniform brightness, no nucleus detected.

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Reged: 01/07/08

Loc: Western New York
Re: NGC 6503 new [Re: Old Rookie]
      #5556437 - 12/05/12 09:14 PM

Interesting to compare the notes. The observability of the nucleus certainly varies. O'Meara reports seeing it with a 4". He did not notice the asymmetry though.

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Carpal Tunnel

Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: NGC 6503 new [Re: IVM]
      #5556605 - 12/05/12 10:46 PM

I spotted it on 11 Sep, 2010 from Cathedral Gorge State Park in east-central Nevada. It was a nice surprise. Medium-flat oval at 70X.

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Vendor - Have a Stellar Birthday

Reged: 04/04/05

Loc: Limerick, Pa
Re: NGC 6503 new [Re: Feidb]
      #5558496 - 12/06/12 11:37 PM

Observing Ngc 6503 is on the first Galaxy Log video (9.2012)

It's one of my favorites in Draco.


Chesmont Astronomical Society -
Galaxy Log -
Telekit (Swayze optics) 22" F/4.5 Dob
Homemade (Parks Optics) 12.5" F/4.8 Dob
TMB/APM 8" f/9 Refractor”The Beast”. One great DEEP SKY achro
ES 6" f/6.5 achro. Good one
Celestron Omni XLT 102 refractor.
Celestron 10x60mm Binos

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Toad Lily

Reged: 12/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: NGC 6503 new [Re: galaxyman]
      #5562562 - 12/09/12 02:27 PM

Just observed this one recently. Here's part of my notes for this object using a 16" f/4.5 reflector at 225x: lenticular shape reaching WNW to ESE, somewhat mottled and oblong brightened center with peripheral edges. The ends were a little more diffuse.

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Carol L


Reged: 07/05/04

Loc: Tomahawk, WI 45N//89W
Re: NGC 6503 new [Re: IVM]
      #5564895 - 12/10/12 09:00 PM Attachment (20 downloads)

Here's an observation from 3 years ago, done while using my 120ST and 13.8mm Meade SWA ep. The galaxy's altitude was 46°, the transparency was average for my area, and nothing in my notes indicates that it was difficult to detect.

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