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A few of my favorite galaxies in Virgo

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#1 Astro-Master

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 06:33 PM

I was making a list of galaxies that show some nice detail like spiral arms or nice edge-on galaxies with dust lanes for my friend Jon Isaacs to view with his 16" or 22" scope from his high desert house, and thought, why not share it with the deep sky observers on CN.

 

For the less experienced observers all these objects are best observed from a dark site.  Good transparency and seeing will help.  Higher power will bring out more details, if sky conditions will allow, so try experimenting with higher power.

 

My favorite 3 Edge-On Galaxies in a 30' FOV

NGC 4216, 4206, and 4222 which is just across the border in Coma.

 

NGC 4216   10.3 Mag.  12.9 SB  7.8' x 1.8'  Pretty bright and large with a bright core, Look for a dust lane on the eastern edge of the core.

NGC 4206    12.0 Mag.  13.9 SB  6.4' x 1.1'  Pretty faint and large, located 20' SW of 4216.

NGC 4222    13.2 Mag   13.4 SB  3.1' x 0.5' Faint fairly large, flat with no central bulge 12' NE of 4216

 

NGC 4517   10.5 Mag.   13.3 SB  10.2' x 1.7  Beautiful Edge-ON with dust lane on North edge of core.  Dust Lane starts at the 14.5 Mag. star located on the NW end of the central core and continues for 2' to the East.

 

NGC 4536  10.3 Mag.  13.4 SB   7.1' x 3.1'  Fairly bright and large with a stellar nucleus and two arms in a flattened S shape.  The northern arm starts at the western edge of the core and stretches NW, the southern arm on the eastern edge swings to the SE.

 

NGC 5364  10.4 Mag.  13.7 SB  6.1' x 4.2'  Fairly bright and large, look for two counter clockwise arms with averted vision at 200x to 300x or more.

 

NGC 4535  9.7 Mag.   13.4 SB   6.9' x 5.4'  Beautiful S shaped spiral with a fairly small but bright core with a stellar nucleus engulfed in a diffuse halo with several faint superimposed foreground stars.  With averted vision the northern arm starts on the east side and wraps tightly to the north, then hooks westward and dims as it heads south.  The southern arm begins on the SW edge, drops south, and quickly swings eastward and hooks to the north as it begins to fade.  A glorious site to behold!!  

 

NGC 5247  9.9 Mag.   13.2 SB  5.4' x 4.9'  Pretty bright and large, almost round, very small but bright core.  The northern arm hooks sharply to the north from the southern end of the core then fades as it turns east.  The southern arm begins at the northern edge of the core and hooks sharply to the south and extends to the west and fades as it turns north.

 

NGC 5746  10.5 Mag.   12.5 SB  6.9' x 1.2'  Nice Edge-On, Bright and large, a Dust Lane cuts through the core east of center, Very nice!  Looks like a mini version of the Sombrero Galaxy.

 

This beautiful Barred Spiral is actually in Serpens Caput

NGC 5921  10.7 Mag.   13.7 SB  4.8' x 4.0'  Fairly bright and large with a bright core and a stellar nucleus, look for the. lower contrast bar.  The northern arm is brighter and curves west, the southern arm curves east, very nice at 280x or more!


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#2 sunnyday

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 09:16 PM

thanks for the report .



#3 FredOz

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 07:39 PM

I was making a list of galaxies that show some nice detail like spiral arms or nice edge-on galaxies with dust lanes for my friend Jon Isaacs to view with his 16" or 22" scope from his high desert house, and thought, why not share it with the deep sky observers on CN.

 

For the less experienced observers all these objects are best observed from a dark site.  Good transparency and seeing will help.  Higher power will bring out more details, if sky conditions will allow, so try experimenting with higher power.

 

My favorite 3 Edge-On Galaxies in a 30' FOV

NGC 4216, 4206, and 4222 which is just across the border in Coma.

 

NGC 4216   10.3 Mag.  12.9 SB  7.8' x 1.8'  Pretty bright and large with a bright core, Look for a dust lane on the eastern edge of the core.

 

[snip]

I presume "SB" refers to surface brightness in mag/arcmin^2.  Looking at NGC 4216 in Stellerium, the surface brightness is given as 12.09 (so perhaps the zero was missed in your list) with an "after extinction" value (apparently for my location in Prescott, AZ at 9 pm tonight) of 12.23.

 

Does anyone have some "rules of thumb" for the minimum surface brightness for these deep sky objects?  Obviously, this will depend on local light pollution and on the size of the telescope plus other factors.  But a couple suggested surface brightness levels would be useful to those of us with less experience.

 

And as for NGC 4216, would that be a good target for a 150 mm Newtonian in Bortle 5 skies?  Or how about Bortle 3 1/2?

 

--- Fred



#4 FredOz

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 09:27 PM

I presume "SB" refers to surface brightness in mag/arcmin^2.  Looking at NGC 4216 in Stellerium, the surface brightness is given as 12.09 (so 

And as for NGC 4216, would that be a good target for a 150 mm Newtonian in Bortle 5 skies?  Or how about Bortle 3 1/2?

 

--- Fred

Another target is M101, Pinwheel Galaxy.  I've not been able to see it from my Bortle 5 yard but can (dimly) from a Bortle 4 spot 8 miles away.  Tonight I plan to go to a Bortle 3-3 1/2 spot 4 miles further (just NW of Granite Mtn. near Prescott) where I expect to see 101.  Stellarium rates its surface brightness as 14.82 mag/arc^2.  So maybe 15 is a limit for my 150 mm telescope.

 

By contrast, M51 Whirlpool Galaxy rates 12.56.  I can just see it at Bortle 5 while M81, Bode's Galaxy rates 13.13 but I can see it better than M51.  I've not looked for NGC 3077, Garland Galaxy, nearby with it's rating of 12.00.




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