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Cosmic Challenge: Polarissima

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#1 PhilH

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Posted 01 April 2022 - 05:24 AM

In astronomy, as in real estate, we have the Three Ls: location, location, location. NGC 3172 is a challenge for all seasons -- literally -- as its location keeps it above the horizon throughout the year no matter what time of night you are looking. That's because NGC 3172 lies within 1° of the North Celestial Pole, closer than any other NGC object.

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#2 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 01 April 2022 - 12:16 PM

I haven't observed NGC 3172 for quite some time.  I'll have to take another look at Polarissima the next time I'm at a site dark enough for the task.

http://spider.seds.o...cic.cgi?NGC3172

There's another image of SN 2010af posted at http://www.deep-sky....ve/N3172-SN.JPG

 


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#3 Sky King

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Posted 02 April 2022 - 12:05 PM

Found it with my 6" GSO. I posted last month so I'll let someone else post this month. But here's a peek at it from last night. Would be better on a bigger scope. John Herschel, like his dad, was really on the mark.


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#4 John O'Hara

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Posted 20 April 2022 - 09:24 AM

For years after reading about this object in Scotty's "Deep Sky Wonders" column, I tried to spy this one out with my 6" f/8 refractor from the dark skies of Cherry Springs State Park, PA.  However, whenever I thought of it, the Astro-Physics 706 GEM was always polar aligned, and I did not wish to shift it to alt-az mode in the middle of a dark observing night.  I'm not sure if I could have found it with my 6 inch or not, but the difficulty of using a GEM around the NCP certainly did not help.  I have seen it without problem in my 12.5" Dob.


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