Observing, 19th October 2011

Date: 19th October 2011
Conditions: Clear, cold (2°C/35.6°F), no Moon, slight dew.
Transparency: Very good, M33 visible to unaided eye
Seeing: Very good
NELM: 6.2
Equipment: 18 inch f/4.3 dob; 22mm Televue Panoptic (90x), 8mm Televue Radian (247x)

I made my assault on Triangulum, postponed from a couple of weeks ago thanks to dew, before moving up to the Pisces/Andromeda border for the Pisces Chain of galaxies. In an 18 inch, there is plenty to see!

(Images used are from the STScI Digitized Sky Survey)

NGC 672 – A moderately bright galaxy elongated NE-SW, which brightens slightly to a non-stellar core with some mottling.  The halo has diffuse edges. 90x, 247x

IC 1727 – Just to the west of N672, this is faint and elongated SE-NW. 247x

NGC 672 and IC 1727. Image from DSS


NGC 670 – Bright, flattened oval elongated 4:1 NNW-SSE. Diffuse halo brightens to a stellar nucleus. 247x

NGC 777 – Bright, slightly elongated NNW-SSE, with diffuse halo surrounding a bright core and stellar nucleus. 247x

NGC 777 and 778. Image from DSS


NGC 778 – Close to N777 this is much fainter and smaller with a bright centre. It is also elongated NNW-SSE. 247x

NGC 661 – Moderately  bright and slightly elongated SW-NE. It has a bright core and stellar nucleus. 247x

NGC 750 – Bright and obvious. It has a round diffuse halo with a bright stellar core. It also has a little pal, NGC 751. 247x

NGC 751 – Next to 750, this is much smaller and fainter. It is also round but doesn’t have a bright core, instead being more uniformly bright. 247x

NGC 740 – A fairly faint edge-on galaxy which shows some brightening along its length. It is elongated 3:1 NW-SE.

NGC 740. Image from DSS


Then it was over to the Pisces/Andromeda border for the NGC 383 cluster, the Pisces Chain. This is an attractive chain of eight bright galaxies, centred on NGC 383 (the brightest galaxy in the chain) with numerous faint ones also in the area. The entire chain fit neatly into the field of view at 90x although individual observations were made at 247x.

Chart of Pisces Chain area. Chart generated with MegaStar


Pisces Chain (NGC 383). Image from DSS

NGC 379 – Small and moderately faint. Elongated N-S. It has a slightly brighter middle and a non-stellar core. 247x

NGC 380 – Round. Diffuse halo and some slight brightening to the centre. 247x

NGC 383 (Arp 331) – The largest and brightest of the group. Very slightly oval, elongated NE-SW. Brightens to the centre and a non-stellar core. 247x

NGC 382 – Right next to N383, this is much smaller and fainter. Round. No brightening in centre. 247x

NGC 387 – Faint, round, small. 247x

NGC 386 – Faint, round, small. 247x

NGC 385 – Fairly bright halo which brightens to the centre and a non-stellar core. Elongated NW-SE. 247x

NGC 384 – Bright. More oval than 385 and with a brighter core. Elongated NW-SE. 247x

NGC 388 – Moderately faint, very slightly oval, elongated NW-SE. 247x

NGC 375 – Faint, round, not much brightening to centre. 247x

There are quite a few MAC (Mitchell Anonymous Catalog) and other non-NGC galaxies in the vicinity, so I thought it would be entertaining to try and find some of them. I should really have put some more magnification on these but, by now, it was late and I was feeling lazy! The MACs I went after were MAC 0107+3220 and MAC 0106+3225 and they were faint, faint, faint – I am not entirely certain I saw them, after 10 minutes of averted vision, deep breathing and use of a hood for each one. There was the suspicion of *something* fuzzy at each position.

UGC 679/PGC 3950 – Faint, edge-on and elongated E-W. No detail. 247x

Packed up at midnight.