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April 16, 2012 at Ft. Davis

NELM 7.0 to 7.5 variable as sky glow due to higher than normal solar activity

Seeing 3/5

Transparency 4/5


Telescope: 48” f/4.0 reflector

Eyepieces:  10 and 6mm ZAO-II, 10mm Delos, 8mm TMB Supermonocentric

I've decided to make a run of some of the Hickson Galaxy groups with my friend's 48" reflector as I have not seen all members with my smaller scopes.

The coordinates listed represents the approximate center of the compact group.

Images are from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (color) or the Digital Sky Survey (black and white)

Hickson 39 in Hydra   09 29 28   -01 20 51

48” (610x) – Chain of four equally spaced galaxies aligned NW to SE and 1.2’ long.   Component A, B and C are equal in brightness and size and in a perfect collinear line.  Component D is slightly brighter than the first three and slightly north of the line formed by A to C.  Stellar cores in all components except C.  An extra nearby galaxy, PGC 1120300, is an even surface brightness 3:1 elongated glow with somewhat diffuse edges.  0.2’ long and PA = 90 degrees.

Hickson 50 in Ursa Major   11 17 06   +54 55 01  

48” (488 and 610x) – The seeing wasn’t that steady while I was at the eyepiece.  I’ve seen all five components at an earlier time with this scope.  Detected only components A, B and D as very to extrememly faint very small round glows.  A mag 16.7 star lies just 20” SW from component A.


Hickson 45 in Ursa Major   10 19 11  +59 06 29

48” (488, 610 and 813x) –

Component A is a bright 5:2 elongated glow with diffuse edges.  Much brighter center.  PA = 80 and 0.8’ long.  A mag 12.7 star lies 1.0’ SE.  A mag 13.1 star lies 0.9’ slightly west of due north.

Component B is a considerably faint even surface brightness small round glow with a slightly brighter center.  Defined edges.  0.2’ across. 

Component C is a very faint 3:1 elongated even surface brightness glow.  0.2’ long and PA = 135 degrees.  A blazing mag 11.1 star lies just 25” SW and a mag 12.9 star lies 1.2’ ESE.

Component D is just 15” NE from the east end of Component A.  A faint very small round glow with defined edges.  0.1’ across.

Hickson 54 in Leo  11 29 16   +20 35 04

48” (488, 610 and 813x) – Unresolved glow with resolved individual roughly equally spaced cores in s slightly bent string of 0.8’ long and aligned SW to NE.  The NE end is slightly bent northwards.  The core of component A is slightly elongated of about 0.2’ across.  The other three cores are nearly stellar to stellar.  A bright mag 9.6 star lies 4.8’ SW.

Hickson 55 in Draco  11 32 07   +70 48 49

48” (488x)

All five galaxies were well resolved in a curvy line aligned N-S.
The middle galaxy, component A, is the brightest of the bunch. It is the largest of the bunch and bright with a brighter core.
The southern most galaxy, component B, is the second brightest, appears as a small bright glow with a much brighter core.
The northern most member, component D, is third brightest and is a bit more compact than the two brighter ones. Much brighter center.
The second one down from the north, component E, end is fairly faint with a brighter core. It is also the smallest of the bunch.
The last one, component C, 2nd from the south, is pretty faint glow with a slightly brighter core.

Hickson 56   11 32 40   +52 56 29

48” (488 and 610x) –   Nice compact group of five galaxies with three members (B, C, D) almost merged together with and edge on located on the east end and a small elliptical on the west end.  2.3’ from end to end.

Component A is a 5:1 considerably faint thin even surface brightness streak.  The stellar core seen in my 22” was very difficult to detect, popping in and out about 25% of the time at 610x.  0.7’ long and PA = 0 degrees.

Component B is a 5:2 elongated glow with a brighter small center.  Defined edges.  The west end very slightly hooks to the north.  PA = 60 degrees and 0.5’ long.  Almost touching component C to the west.

Component C is a fairly faint round even surface brightness glow with defined edges.  0.5’ west from the center of component B.

Component D is similar in brightness and size with component C, which is just 15” due east.

Component E is also similar to component C and D in size and brightness.  Lies 40” SW from component D.

Hickson 59 in Leo  11 48 25   +12 43 37

48” (488 and 610x) – Five galaxies seen with a bonus galaxy.

Component A is a very bright round glow with a much brighter center.  Defined edges.  0.5’ across.

Component B is a bright round glow with a brighter center.  Slightly more diffuse edges than A.   0.3’ across.  A dimmer version of A.  2.0’ WSW of component A

Component C is a 3:1 elongated even surface brightness glow with diffuse edges and a stellar core.  PA = 90 degrees and 0.6’ long.  1.8’ SE of component A

Component D is a faint amorphous slightly irregular diffuse glow.  Even surface brightness.  0.4x0.3’ and PA = 0 degrees.  0.9’ east of component A

Component E is a very faint 2:1 elongated glow with diffuse edges.  PA = 45 degrees and 0.2’ long.  2.7’ NW of component A.

The bonus galaxy is just 0.8’ NW of component B and is a very faint round glow.  0.1’ across.

Hickson 63 in Centarus    13 02 10   -32 46 25

48” (488x) –

Component A is a bright 3:1 elongated and slightly mottled glow.  Defined edges.  PA = 0 degrees and 0.9’ long.

Component B is the reason why I went for this object in the 48” as I wanted to see if I could see the single arm.  Bright 2:1 elongated glow with an easily seen arm on the south.  Almost stellar core seen.  No other detail was seen.

Component C is a fairly bright round glow with somewhat diffuse edges. 0.4’ across and 1.0’ west of component A.

Component D is a faint very small round glow located 0.9’ NW from the core of component B.  0.1’ across.

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