All Arps so far

In this topic I am leaving the traditional “eyepiece view” and provide a crop of the original Arp sketches that I have done so far. Therefore, more attention to detail can be achieved. Additionally there is an “inverted color” and enhanced inset with remarks about the Arp details seen (or missed). Next to each “Challenge” there’s a “Y” if all features could be seen or a “N” if none of them were observed. A “P” indicates that the mentioned features were partially visilble.

All sketches have been corrected to show North ↑ up and West → right.

I will try to sketch every Arp peculiar galaxy with my 16″ scopes from the darkest location possible, preferably from a site with a minimum SQM reading of 21.4. But on occasion I’ll settle for as low as 21.1 (near my home) or go as high as 21.8 (La Palma).

A 16 inch telescope may seem quite large for general amateur astronomy. However, for observing the peculiar features of the Arp galaxies it is rather small and it is therefore that many of the features will not be seen. But that’s OK… with this portfolio of sketches I will still try to provide a guide of what can be achieved with a “mere” 16 inch mirror.

More info about Halton Arp can be found on Wikipedia. Additionally, more info about observing the Arp galaxies can be found on Astroleague and Steve Gottlieb’s website. The complete Arp catalog can be reviewed and downloaded to Excel or Skysafari from Deepskylog, the tool that I use to prepare and log most of my observations.

Last but not least I have to mention one book that I used extensively in my search and analysis of all the Arps; it’s “The Arp Atlas Of Peculiar Galaxies” by Jeff Knipe and Dennis Webb, which contains a wealth of information and which I used as the main data source for my sketches below. It’s a great read and I can recommend it to anyone who is planning to observe the full catalog of 338 objects.

Good luck and above all: have fun!

Arp 13 – NGC 7448

mag 11.6, size 2.7′ x 1.2′

Challenge: Fading texture to the N and SE of nucleus (N)

sketch arp 13 ngc 7448
Cornay (SQM 21.5) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

This is a clear, bean-shaped galaxy with an obvious brightening towards the core. On the S tip very feebly appears one of the detached segments. NW of the galaxy a tripple star can be seen.


Arp 18 – NGC 4088

mag 10.5, size 5.8′ x 2.3′

Challenge: Trace the fainter arm, discern rich mottling (P)

sketch arp 18 ngc 4088
Wierhuizen (SQM 21.6) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 7mm at 258x

A fine sight. A distinct galaxy with spiral structure easily seen. To the SE of the core a dark wedge can be observed with under it a bright arm. on the NW side this is visible too, but dimmer and in the opposite direction. To the NE a loose fragment is seen on the extention; the disrupted spiral arm. Nice!


Arp 23 – NGC 4618 and NGC 4625

NGC 4618: mag 11.2, size 4.2′ x 3.4′
NGC 4625: mag 12.9, size 2.2′ x 1.9′

Challenge: Large arm in each galaxy, 4625’s faint outer arm and companion (P)

sketch arp 23 ngc 4618 ngc 4625
Wierhuizen (SQM 21.6) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 10mm at 181x

Very beautiful and with lots of structure visible. The thick arm is immediately noticed and the start of this arm from the SE of the oval shaped core too. The core and arm are separated by a large, dark void. With effort, the arm can be traced to the N, but not all the way. To the E NGC 4625 can’t be missed with direct vision.


Arp 28 – NGC 7678

mag 11.8, size 2.4′ x 1.7′

Challenge: Three arms, one of which is heavy (P)

sketch arp 28 ngc 7678
Cornay (SQM 21.5) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

Very soft and almost round galaxy (face-on) with a compact and somewhat brighter core area, nestled between three brighter stars (and one dimmer). With AV the thicker arm on the S can be seen, mainly because of the darker notch between the arm and the core.


Arp 29 – NGC 6946

mag 8.8, size 11.6′ x 9.9′

Challenge: Five arms (P)

sketch arp 29 ngc 6946
Bar-lès-Buzancy (SQM 21.4) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 10mm at 181x

Nicknamed “The Fireworks Galaxy” because of the many supernovae occuring. This is a large face-on with three obvious spiral arms varying in brightness and thickness. The core is small and only a tad brighter than the surrounding (dim) glow. Many foreground stars are visible, embellishing the already splendid view. Two H II knots can be recognized. The fourth arm (detached from the third) and fifth arm were not seen.


Arp 37 – M77 (NGC 1068)

mag 8.9, size 7.1′ x 6.1′

Challenge: The highly textured arms and the knots on the ENE and SW arms. The faint amorphous outer arms (P)

sketch arp 37 messier 77
Cornay (SQM 21.4) – 16″ alkaid; televue delos 8mm at 226x

Beautiful face-on galaxy. Extremely bright with stellar nucleus and oval shaped core around it. The outer envelope spans up till halfway a bright star. On the SE side a definite flattening can be seen, here the glow fades more abruptly into the sky background. Two dark lanes can be seen on the SE and NW side, close to the core zone. They give away two spiral arms which can be seen too (with effort), the SE one being the easiest. The start of both arms moving out from the core is a bit brighter. By observing this galaxy at length, you can just “taste” the spiral structure getting through. Fascinating object.


Arp 38 – NGC 6412

mag 11.7, size 2.5′ x 2.2′

Challenge: Northern component (N)

sketch ngc 6412 arp 38
Cornay (SQM 21.4) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

Face-on which appears perfectly round. The glow is very dim and soft. The stellar nucleus is only a bit brighter. A fairly bright star is seen on the S-side of the field. Northern component not visible.


Arp 46 – UGC 12665

mag 15, size 1.2′ x 0.9′

Challenge: Asymmetry and companion to NE and subtle line to the SE (N)

sketch arp 46 ugc 12665
Skarl (Warns) (SQM 21.25) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

The Arp feature refers to the least brightest galaxy in this field: UGC 12665, but the companion can’t be seen. Instead, a mag 15.8 star can just be glimpsed in the same area. The galaxy itself is very dim and can only be seen with AV as a slightly elongated smudge. The other galaxy, UGC 12667, is brighter and can be seen with direct vision. It is elongated too and bends toward a nearby star.


Arp 56 – UGC 1432

mag 14.6, size 0.9′ x 0.6′

Challenge: Western arm and the knot at its end (N)

sketch arp 56 ugc 1432
Cornay (SQM 21.4) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

Very dim, only seen with AV as a smooth round glow without a pronounced core zone. The spiral arm and the knot at its remained invisible.


Arp 65 – NGC 91 (also NGC 90) and NGC 93

NGC 91: mag 13.6, size 3.0′ x 0.9′
NGC 93: mag 13.3, size 1.5′ x 1.0′

Challenge: All three companions off the ends of the arms (N)

sketch arp 65 ngc 93
Cornay (SQM 21.4) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

Two galaxies at a large distance from each other. E is NGC 93 and is small, pretty bright, oval and with a distinct core area. The PA can be seen with ease. NGC 91 on the other side is a dim cloud and only seen with AV. No extra details were observed and certainly not the three companions.


Arp 78 – NGC 772, NGC 770 and companions

NGC 770: mag 13.9, size 1.2′ x 0.8′
NGC 772: mag 10.3, size 7.3′ x 4.3′

Challenge: Asymmetric arms and E lobe of 772 (N)

sketch arp 78 ngc 772
Cornay (SQM 21.5) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

Nice and bright couple. NGC 772 is large, oval shaped with a distinct core area. near the edge of the soft glow in the SE a somewhat brighter part of the spiral structure is visible. North of the core is a dark intrusion which gives the impression of a spiral arm moving out. This arm however is not seen. nearby NGC 770 is small, nearly round and has some brightening towards the center. Other companions and the E lobe are not seen.


Arp 81 – NGC 6621 and NGC 6622

NGC 6621: mag 13.6, size 2.1′ x 0.8′
NGC 6622: mag 16.0, size 0.5′ x 0.4′

Challenge: Shape of the NE loop (N)

sketch arp 81 ngc 6621
Cornay (SQM 21.4) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

Compact pair with some nebulosity in between. Brightest and largest is NGC 6621 in the N, it can just be seen with direct vision. NGC 6622 to the S is smaller and quite dim, but it can be seen without much effort. On the SW there appears to be a notch in the nebulosity. The loop was not seen.


Arp 85 – M51 (NGC 5194) and NGC 5195

M51: mag 8.4, size 10.3′ x 8.1′
NGC 5195: mag 10.5, size 5.8′ x 4.6′

Challenge: Spiral arms in 5194; The arm connecting NGC 5194 and NGC 5195; The two fainter wisps running NW and SE of NGC 5195; Absorption structures in each arm of 5194 (P)

sketch arp 85 m51 ngc 5195 whirlpool galaxy
Lauwersmeer (SQM 21.5) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

The “Whirlpool Galaxy“, probably the most famous of all Arps and it provides a fantastic view. The (face-on) spiral structure is seen immediately with ease. The E and brightest inner arm appears “hooked”. The N and S outer arms are dim and only seen with AV. The W inner arm is clearly specked with a multitude of H II knots. A detached section of the core is visible on the NE side.

NGC 5195 shows a brighter core area than that of M51. The companion galaxy is pear-shaped and has a dark intrusion on the W side. Its bar is pointing to the centre of M51. Even though an arm is clearly stretching in the direction of M51’s outer N arm, the famous “bridge” is not seen.


Arp 86 – NGC 7752 and NGC 7753

NGC 7752: mag 14.3, size 0.8′ x 0.5′
NGC 7753: mag 12.0, size 3.3′ x 2.1′

Challenge: Arm between galaxies (N)

sketch arp 86 ngc 7753
Cornay (SQM 21.4) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

Here’s a nice pair. NGC 7753 is the mother galaxy and is (almost) face-on with a bright and soft core and a large surrounding glow. Somewhat further to the SW NGC 7752 can be seen with direct vision. It’s small, compact and equally bright as the core of 7753. It’s not round, but slightly oval shaped. The connection between the two galaxies can’t be seen, but a dark intrusion on the N of 7753’s core betrays a spiral arm departing towards a mag 15.6 star.


Arp 94 – NGC 3226 and NGC 3227

NGC 3226: mag 12.3, size 3.2′ x 2.8′
NGC 3227: mag 11.1, size 5.4′ x 3.7′

Challenge: Spiral arms of NGC 3227, faint wisps NE and SW of 3227, NE plume off NGC 3226 (N)

sketch arp 94 ngc 3226 ngc 3227
Wierhuizen (SQM 21.6) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 7mm at 258x

Two very striking galaxies, easily visible. NGC 3226 is brighter and with a bright, non-stellar core. The galaxy appears round. NGC 3227 does have a stellar core which is moderately bright, around it is a large oval glow with a slightly bent shape.


Arp 98 – UGC 1095 and MCG+5-4-66

UGC 1095: mag 15.0, size 1.4′ x 0.5′
MCG+5-4-66: mag 16.0, size 0.3′

challenge: The differing arms of MCG+5-4-66 (N)

sketch arp 98 ugc 1095
Cornay (SQM 21.5) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

This Arp duo is on the verge of visibility. Both are very small, round and only intermittently seen with AV. MCG+5-4-66 forms a triangle with two mag 14 stars and is just a tad easier to spot than UGC 1095. No details were seen. Very hard observation.


Arp 99 – NGC 7550 group, Hickson 93

NGC 7547: mag 14.7, size 1.1′ x 0.5′
NGC 7549: mag 13.7, size 2.8′ x 0.7′
NGC 7550: mag 12.2, size 1.4′ x 1.2′

Challenge: Connection not seen, but note difference in arm toward and away from E galaxy. Note also material between W spiral and E galaxy. (N)

sketch arp 99 ngc 7550
Cornay (SQM 21.5) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

Arp 99 is a part of Hickson 93 but counts only three galaxies. NGC 7550 is the brightest member of the group and also the largest. Appears perfectly round with a bit brighter core area. NGC 7549 is a pretty large and dim stain and is slightly oval. It points just past NGC 7550. NGC 7547 is the smallest and dimmest one. It’s clearly stretched (2:1) and it too points just past NGC 7550. The light is evenly distributed on the surface. The three galaxies form a nice view and are easy to see. Hickson members NGC 7553 and NGC 7558 were not observed during this session.


Arp 104 – NGC 5216 and NGC 5218

NGC 5216: mag 13.6, size 2.4′ x 1.8′
NGC 5218: mag 12.3, size 2.9′ x 1.6′

Challenge: Wisps E and W of 5218, SW of 5218 and connection (N)

sketch arp 104 ngc 5216 ngc 5218
Wierhuizen (SQM 21.6) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 7mm at 258x

Known as Keenan’s system. A bit of a deception. NGC 5218 is largest, somewhat oval and with a stretched core. NGC 5216 is round and with a brigher core than NGC 5218. The connection between the two galaxies is not observed.


Arp 111 – NGC 5421 and companion

mag 13.4, size 1.6′ x 1.0′

Challenge: Elliptical loop on the bent arm (N)

sketch arp 111 ngc 5421
Skarl (Warns) (SQM 21.3) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

This is a very small and weak duo and it’s a challenge to split both galaxies (I did not see the elliptical loop). At 362x this is successful where NGC 5421A is the largest and brightest of the two and NGC 5421B can only be glimpsed with AV. The two reside in an oval glow and are perpendicular to a mag 15 star. The companion however can not be seen.


Arp 112 – NGC 7805 and NGC 7806

NGC 7805: mag 13.3, size 1.2′ x 0.9′
NGC 7806: mag 14.3, size 1.1′ x 0.8′
MGC+5-1-26: mag 16.5, size 0.6′ x 0.2′

Challenge: N arm of NGC 7806 and asymmetry of MCG+5-1-26 (N)

sketch arp 112 ngc 7805 7806
Skarl (Warns) (SQM 21.25) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

NGC 7805 and NGC 7806 can readily be seen with direct vision. Both are rather small and appear round, although on close inspection NGC 7806 seems a bit stretched. Surprisingly, the neighbour galaxy MCG+05-1-26 can be glimpsed too with much effort. It’s extremely faint and the light of the small streak of light pulsates in and out with AV.


Arp 113 – NGC 67 – 72

NGC 67: mag 15.2, size 1.0′ x 0.7′
NGC 68: mag 14.5, size 1.2 x 1.1′
NGC 69: mag 15.8, size 0.9′ x 0.8′
NGC 70: mag 14.5, size 2.0′ x 1.6′
NGC 71: mag 14.8, size 1.5′ x 1.2′
NGC 72: mag 13.4, size 1.1′ x 1.0′

Challenge: Spiral structure in NGC 70 and NGC 72 (N)

sketch arp 113 ngc 70
Skarl (Warns) (SQM 21.25) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

A small area rich with galaxies. At low power a combined smudge of light can be seen, but at high power all galaxies can be separated. The brightest three are in the center and form a triangle between three stars. NGC 68, NGC 70 and NGC 71 are well visible with AV and appear similar in size, shape and brightness. At the SE of this group is a dimmer galaxy with a large surrounding glow. This is NGC 72 and is still pretty obvious with AV. E of it is NGC 72A, this one is stellar and can sometimes be seen with AV. W of it is another dim specimen; NGC 69. This one time can only be seen half of the time with AV. Lastly, there are two more difficult galaxies in line with NGC 70 and NGC 68. These are NGC 67 and NGC 67A. These are almost stellar and could only be discovered by use of a detailed chart. No additional details were seen in these eight galaxies in a single field.


Arp 116 – M60 (NGC 4649) and NGC 4647

M60: mag 9.8, size 7.4′ x 6.0′
NGC 4647: mag 11.9, size 2.9′ x 2.3′

challenge: Absorption band on NGC 4647 away from M60 (N)

sketch m60 ngc 4647
Tijarafe – La Palma (SQM 21.6) – 10″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 171x

M60 is large, bright and almost perfectly round. There appears to be no visible interaction with the companion galaxy NGC 4647 although they are very close to each other (not in contact). NGC 4647 is softer than M60 and has a smaller core area.


Arp 134 – M49 (NGC 4472)

M49: mag 9.3, size 10.2′ x 8.3′
UGC 7636: mag 14.8, size 1.1′ x 0.9′

challenge: Detect the dwarf irregular galaxy UGC 7636 companion and detect any structure in it (N)

sketch m49
Dijkgatsbos – Wieringermeer (SQM 21.1) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

Messier 49 is a large and almost round elliptical, gradually brightening towards the blazing core. In the same field NGC 4467 is visible with AV, but not the fragment UGC 7636. A mag 9 star is close to M49, just touching the edge of it.


Arp 135 – NGC 1023 and NGC 1023A

NGC 1023: mag 9.3, size 8.8′ x 3.0′
NGC 1023A: mag 13.0, size 1.6′ x 1.4′

challenge: NGC 1023A (Y)

arp 135 sketch ngc 1023
Dijkgatsbos – Wieringermeer (SQM 21.1) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

The “Perseus Lenticular Galaxy“. Large and cigar-shaped with a bright and diffuse core. With effort the galaxy NGC 1023A can be seen by AV on the SE tip as a tine smudge just a tad brighter than the sky background. But one has to know where to look.


Arp 136 – NGC 5820 and companions

mag 12.5, size 1.7′ x 1.1′

Challenge: Extension (streamers) off the SE end of NGC 5820 (N)

sketch arp 136 ngc 5820
Skarl (Warns) (SQM 21.3) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

Now almost in zenith. I use the 5mm to keep a bright double star out of the FOV. NGC 5820 is a bright oval with bright core and soft outer area. The streamers can not be seen, but this galaxy is surrounded by fragments of which one can be (barely) spotted with AV, which is a nice bonus. Closeby is another galaxy: NGC 5821, which is dim but quite large. No additional details can be spotted here.


Arp 158 – NGC 523

mag 13.5, size 2.5′ x 0.7′

Challenge: Faint ESE extension (N)

sketch arp 158 ngc 523
Cornay (SQM 21.5) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

Strange object. Hard to see with direct vision as a (slightly bend) stretched galaxy with some central brightening. At both “tips” a knot can be seen. The W knot is brightest and stellar (like a dim star), while the E knot is larger, softer and can only be glimpsed with AV.


Arp 159 – NGC 4747

mag 12.4, size 3.5′ x 1.2′

Challenge: Irregular absorption structure SE along nucleus and plume to NE (N)

sketch arp 159 ngc 4747
Skarl (Warns) (SQM 21.3) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 7mm at 258x

This is a dim galaxy but can just be seen with direct vision. Despite its dimness it’s a nice view because of its needle shape with an oval glow around it (not edged sharply). The core zone is stretched and not evenly brightened; it’s mottled and sometimes the loose core parts can be glimpsed (two or three). Tough observation, but nice.


Arp 166 – NGC 750 and NGC 751

NGC 750: mag 12.9, size 1.7′ x 1.3′
NGC 751: mag 13.5, size 1.4′

Challenge: Three faint radial companions (N)

sketch arp 166 ngc 750
Cornay (SQM 21.4) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

Two galaxies are visible in this Arp. Both can be seen and separated easily. The surrounding nebulosity has a droplet shape because there’s a small notch on the E side. On the N side the nebulosity is a bit broader. NGC 750 is the largest and brightest of the two, the core is round. NGC 751 is smaller and oval shaped, the PA can be followed. The companions were not seen.


Arp 167 – NGC 2672 and NGC 2673

NGC 2672: mag 12.7, size 3.0′ x 2.8′
NGC 2673: mag 14.4, size 1.2′

Challenge: Plume of 2673, curving from SE to E (N)

sketch arp 167 ngc 2672 ngc 2673
It Paradyske (SQM 21.1) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 7mm at 258x

Two small galaxies not far from M44 that almost touch each other. 2672 (W) is larger, oval and can be seen with direct vision. The brightness gradually decreases towards the edges and W of it is a dim star. 2673 can only be seen with AV as a dim and round cloud.


Arp 168 – M32 (NGC 221)

mag 9.0, size 8.8′ x 6.5′

challenge: The plume (N)

sketch m32
Lauwersmeer (SQM 21.1) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

Often overlooked while observing the great M31 nearby. No special detail can be seen. M32 is moderately large and slightly oval shaped. At high magnification the difference in brightness within the galaxies is notable and not equally decreasing towards the outer section; the core is almost stellar and the brightness remains high until 50% outwards, after which it drops significantly. The plume was not seen.


Arp 170 – NGC 7578 group, Hickson 94

NGC 7578A: mag 14.4, size 1.4′ x 1.4′
NGC 7578B: mag 15.0, size 1.0′ x 1.0′
PGC 70936: mag 16.3, size 0.3′ x 0.2′

Challenge: Faint members of Hickson group, and counter-tail (P)

sketch arp 170 ngc 7578
Cornay (SQM 21.5) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

This is a very compact group of many galaxies, of which two are quite easily seen (with AV). NGC 7578A is in the center as a small and round glow, just a bit brighter than NGC 7578B SW of it, which shows a similar size and shape. In the extension of these two a mag 14 star is seen. Very close to this star PGC 70936 seems to blink now and then in and out of view as a very dim star, but it’s a doubtful observation. I did not observe any other members of the Hickson group, while 94C just a bit further away should not be a very big problem to see.


Arp 182 – NGC 7674 Group, Hickson 96

NGC 7674: mag 13.9, size 1.1′ x 1.0′
NGC 7675: mag 14.8, size 0.6′ x 0.5′
MCG+1-59-81: mag 16.1, size 0.4′ x 0.3′
PGC 71507: mag 17.1, size 0.2′ x 0.1′

Challenge: Long straight, very faint filament like bow wave from companion (N)

sketch arp 182 ngc 7674
Cornay (SQM 21.4) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 3.5mm at 518x

Compact group of four galaxies, of which three are visible. Also known as Hickson 96.

NGC 7674 is the largest and brightest member, brightening towards the core en with a large surrounding glow. No spiral structure is visible. A very small and dim galaxy is just next to it: MGC+1-59-81. This one is only seen with AV, but still set loose from its neighbour. NGC 7675 can just be seen with direct vision as a small oval, the PA can be seen. There is no brightening towards the core. PGC 71507 is out of reach for now, but should be possible from an even darker location.


Arp 185 – NGC 6217

mag 11.2, size 3.0′ x 2.5′

Challenge: outer filaments (N)

sketch arp 185 ngc 6217
Cornay (SQM 21.4) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

Bright galaxy with stellar nucleus. The start of the N arm can be seen with AV, curling to the E. The S arm is more difficult. Only the start can be seen with AV, but the curl is dimmer and shorter than the N arm. The filaments are invisible.


Arp 209 – NGC 6052

mag 13, size 0.9′ x 0.7′

Challenge: Oblong core and line of knots (P)

sketch arp 209 ngc 6052
Wierhuizen (SQM 21.6) – 16″ canopus; televue delite 4mm at 452x

Pretty dim galaxy and very small. The core is a bit brighter with around it a round glow. High magnification reveals a comma shape, as if the galaxy has a dent on one side.


Arp 212 – NGC 7625

mag 12.1, size 1.6′ x 1.5′

Challenge: Detect the absorption tubes (N)

sketch arp 212 ngc 7625
Cornay (SQM 21.4) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

Compact and bright galaxy, easily seen. The core is not stellair but gets brighter towards the center. A mag 6 star is just outside the field. The edge is soft, but appears flattened in the SE, this gives the galaxy a triangular shape. The absorption tubes were not seen.


Arp 217 – NGC 3310

mag 10.8, size 3.3′ x 3.0′

Challenge: Knots N of nucleus, arcs NW and SW, jet piercing NW arc (N)

sketch arp 217 ngc 3310
Wierhuizen (SQM 21.6) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 5mm at 361x

This one is small and has a somewhat square shape. It shows strong mottling (like a bright “fuzzball”). During the sketching process a small loose segment catches my attention just E of the galaxy. A nice bonus, because I don’t see any of the other features. However, I can’t find any information on the segment so it could have been only in my imagination.


Arp 229 – NGC 507 and NGC 508

NGC 503: mag 15.1, size 0.3′
NGC 504: mag 14.3, size 1.7′ x 0.4′
NGC 507: mag 12.2, size 3.1′
NGC 508: mag 14.1, size 1.3′
IC1687: mag 13.7, size 0.5′ x 0.3′
CGCG 502-72: mag 14.5, size 0.5′ x 0.4′

Challenge: Faint outer halo of NGC 507 enveloping NGC 508 (N)

sketch arp 229 ngc 507 508
Cornay (SQM 21.5) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

NGC 507 and NGC 508 are in the center of the group, pretty close to each other. The halo enveloping 508 is not visible. NGC 507 is brightest and largest, it’s round can be seen easily. NGC 508 just N of it is still pretty bright, small and round and with no central brightening. NW is NGC 503 and this one is very small, dim and can only be seen with AV. SW is NGC 504 and this is the second brightest of the group, to be seen with direct vision. The shape is round and compact. The protrusions are not observed. Two more dim galaxies enrich the field; MCG +05-04-048 (also CGCG 502-72) is very small en dim and can only be spotted with difficulty. IC 1687 was observed as a dim star, so it’s very small (only the core to be seen) but not too difficult with AV. This is a nice and rich Arp group.


Arp 242 – NGC 4676A and NGC 4676B

NGC 4676A: mag 14.7, size 2.3′ x 0.7′
NGC 4676B: mag 14.4, size 2.2′ x 0.8′

challenge: Both tails, differing structure in cores (P)

sketch arp 242 ngc 4676 the mice
Breezanddijk (SQM 21.4) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

The Mice“. Very small and dim ovals, hard to locate. At first (direct) sight NGC 4676B appears brightest with a stellar core, but with AV NGC 4676A swells and the extension can be seen as a straight line (with much effort). The second tail remains invisible.


Arp 266 – NGC 4861

mag 13.2, size 4.0′ x 1.5′

Challenge: Knots and asymmetry

sketch arp 266 ngc 4861
Skarl (Warns) (SQM 21.3) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 10mm at 181x

Strange looking galaxy; a large and long streak of light stretches between a star and a HII knot (both easily visible). The brain fills in the space between the star and knot, but careful examination shows that the galaxy does not quite reach the star. A little off-center a bulge can be seen in the core.


Arp 269 – NGC 4485 and NGC 4490

NGC 4485: mag 12.3, size 2.3′ x 1.6′
NGC 4490: mag 10.2, size 6.3′ x 3.1′

challenge: Knots, asymmetry and the tail E of NGC 4490 (P)

sketch ngc 4485 ngc 4490 cocoon galaxy
Lauwersmeer (SQM 21.5) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

The “Cocoon Galaxy“. This famous duo in Canes Venatici is a real treat in the northern sky. It comprises two galaxies that have an obvious influence on each other. A lot of structure and irregularities can be seen; NGC 4490 is oval shaped and the largest and brightest of the two, with a distinct (mottled) core area and two spiral arms showing a long and flattened “S”. NGC 4485 has a curved “droplet” shape with a loose fragment on top.

A – The core of 4490; bright and mottled, shaped like a stretched “D” or “Δ”. On the SE and NW side two spiral arms are reaching outwards.
B – Slightly brighter part of the northern arm.
C – The SE arm, a bit brighter, thicker and shorter than the N one.
D – A brighter “patch” of nebulosity at the end of the N arm.
E – A streak of nebulosity, like an island, set loose from the galaxy and separated by a dark lane.
F – Dustlane? Or just an empty space between NGC 4490 and the “island”.
G – Suspicion of a dim star, or maybe a H II knot?
H – Fragment, set loose from NGC 4485.
I – NGC 4485; a droplet shaped galaxy, arching towards NGC 4490. The core is small and just a tiny bit brighter.
J – A mag 14.7 star, easily seen at the outer SE region of 4490, embedded in a darker notch.


Arp 270 – NGC 3395 and NGC 3396

NGC 3395: mag 12.2, size 2.1′ x 1.2′
NGC 3396: mag 12.6, size 3.1′ x 1.2′

Challenge: Many knots and arcing arm in 3395 (P)

sketch arp 270 ngc 3395 ngc 3396
Wierhuizen (SQM 21.4) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 7mm at 258x

Nice pair, close to each other at an almost right-angle. NGC 3396 is somewhat brighter and is seen as a 2:1 streak of light with the core area a bit brighter, surrounded by a fuzzy halo. NGC 3395 is a bit dimmer and more evenly illuminated. With AV the start of a spiral arm can be seen to the S. There ‘s a lot of space between the two galaxies.


Arp 273 – UGC 1810 and UGC 1813

UGC 1810: mag 13.4, size 2.0′ x 1.3′
UGC 1813: mag 15.1, size 1.5′ x 0.4′

Challenge: Asymmetrical arms in UGC 1810 (P)

sketch arp 273 ugc 1810
Cornay (SQM 21.4) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

Extremely hard observation. UGC 1810 is the brightest of the two, but despite that only seen with AV (mainly the core). However, the extension in both directions is suspected as well as the curving arm on the E side. UGC 1813 is only sometimes seen with AV as a small streak of light and is a threshold observation.


Arp 278 – NGC 7253A and NGC 7253B

NGC 7253A: mag 13.6, size 1.7′ x 0.7′
NGC 7253B: mag 14.4, size 1.6′ x 0.5′

Challenge: Asymmetry in the outer areas (N)

sketch arp 278 ngc 7253
Cornay (SQM 21.5) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

Nice but faint duo. NGC 7253A is brightest and is best seen with AV as a stretched galaxy with some central brightening. Almost perpendicular to it is NGC 7253B and is barely seen with AV as a streak of light. The two are “separated” by a dim double star (m15.4) which give this Arp a nice touch. A dark sky is mandatory.


Arp 281 – NGC 4627 and NGC 4631

NGC 4627: mag 13.1, size 2.6′ x 1.8′
NGC 4631: mag 9.8, size 15.5′ x 2.7′

challenge: Plumes N and S of NGC 4627; filamentary absorption structures throughout body of NGC 4631 (P)

sketch ngc 4627 ngc 4631 the whale herring
Breezanddijk (SQM 21.3) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

This is “The Whale” or “Herring” galaxy and the resemblance is striking. The size of NGC 4631 is enormous and fills a great deal of the field. The core is not clearly defined but looks more as if snowballs have been thrown at it. The surface is highly mottled and absorption lanes can be suspected, running vertically through the center. NGC 4627 can just be seen with direct vision as a dim smudge. A bright star is located between it and the core of NGC 4631.


Arp 282 – NGC 169 and IC 1559

NGC 169: mag 12.4, size 2.7′ x 0.7′
IC 1559: mag 14.7, size 0.8′ x 0.4′

Challenge: The spirals in NGC 169 (N)

sketch arp 282 ngc 169
Cornay (SQM 21.5) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 5mm at 362x

Two galaxies really close to one another, but seen separated. NGC 169 is stretched and dim, best seen with AV. IC 1559 is even dimmer, smaller and round. It’s nearly perpendicular to the NGC galaxy. A very bright mag 6.3 star adorns the field, but it complicates a good observation.


Arp 287 – NGC 2735 and NGC 2735A

NGC 2735: mag 13.3, size 1.2′ x 0.4′
NGC 2735A: mag 15.3, size 24″ x 12″

Challenge: NGC 2735A and the detached segment at PA 260° of NGC 2735 (P)

sketch arp 287 ngc 2735 2735a
It Paradyske (SQM 21.1) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 7mm at 258x

Two small galaxies, seen detached from each other. 2735 (W) is a stretched oval (3:1) with a brighter core area. E of it, almost in line, 2735A can sometimes be glimpsed as a round and small cloud. The surrounding star view is attractive; four bright stars adorn the field in a “Y” shape.


Arp 293 – NGC 6285 and NGC 6286

NGC 6285: mag 14.5, size 0.9′ x 0.5′
NGC 6286: mag 13.3, size 1.5′ x 1.4′

Challenge: Faint arc SE of NGC 6286 (N)

sketch arp 293 ngc 6285 ngc 6286
Skarl (Warns) (SQM 21.3) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 7mm at 258x

A weak duo, but they can just be seen with direct vision. NGC 6286 is the brightest and largest of the two. They seem to be pointing to a common center of gravity and reside in a rich star field. The faint arc is not seen.


Arp 305 – NGC 4016 and NGC 4017

NGC 4016: mag 13.8, size 1.5′ x 0.8′
NGC 4017: mag 13.0, size 0.3′ x 0.2′

Challenge: Weak filament between galaxies; loops in 4016 (N)

sketch arp 305 ngc 4016 ngc 4017
Wierhuizen (SQM 21.6) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 7mm at 258x

Nice duo with NGC 4016 as a dim and round galaxy, almost only visible with AV, but with a somewhat brighter core. NGC 4017 is a quite large, oval glow with an apparent bean shape. Best seen with AV, but brighter than NGC 4016.


Arp 315 – NGC 2830 through NGC 2832 Galaxy group

NGC 2830: mag 15.3, size 1.3′ x 0.3′
NGC 2831: mag 14.7, size 1.4′
NGC 2832: mag 12.3, size 2.3′ x 1.9′

Challenge: Separate 2831 and 2832 (Y)

sketch arp 315 ngc 2830 ngc 2831 ngc 2832
Wierhuizen (SQM 21.6) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 5mm at 361x

Five galaxies in one field of view, of which NGC 2825 and NGC 2834 are out of the Arp group. NGC 2830 is hard to see with AV, but the needle shape and PA can be observed. NGC 2831 is mainly visible with AV. it’s dim, small and has no obvious core area. it’s seen loose from NGC 2832. The latter is easily seen with a pretty bright core and soft halo around it. This is a nice and compact group.


Arp 316 – NGC 3193 group in Hickson 44 Galaxy group

NGC 3187: mag 13.9, size 3.0′ x 1.3′
NGC 3190: mag 12.1, size 4.4′ x 1.5′
NGC 3193: mag 11.8, size 3.0′ x 2.7′

Challenge: Spirals of NGC 3187 and SW companion. Dust lane in NGC 3190 (N)

sketch arp 316 hickson 44 ngc 3187 3190 3193
It Paradyske (SQM 21.1) – 16″ canopus; pentax xw 14mm at 129x

Very nice group of three galaxies in the neck of Leo. I choose a low magnification to nicely frame the fourth Hickson galaxy too. 3193 is very bright, round and with a relatively large core area close to a brighter star. 3190 is stretched and the slightly oval centre is a bit brighter. It is about as eyecatching as 3193. That can’t be said of 3187, which is only visible with AV. It has a thick needle shape too, pointing in exactly the same direction as 3190. Lastly, at some distance 3185 is seen as an almost round stain of nebulosity with a hardly brighter core. It can be seen with direct vision. The four galaxies reside in a nice starfield with big differences in magnitude.


Arp 317 – The Leo Triplet; M65, M66 and NGC 3628

M65: mag 10.3, size 9.8′ x 2.9′
M66: mag 9.7, size 9.1′ x 4.2′
NGC 3628: mag 10.3, size 14.8′ x 3.0′

Challenge: M66 asymetry, NGC 3628 dust lane, quasars and chain of optical objects (P)

sketch arp 317 leo triplet ngc 3628 m66 m65
Wierhuizen (SQM 21.3) – 16″ canopus; televue nagler 26T5 at 70x

Even at low magnification (to nicely frame the three galaxies) some details can be seen like the dustlane in NGC 3628, an arm curling from S to E on M66 and a brighter patch in M65 on the N side. The difference in brightness of the three galaxies can be noticed while all of them can be seen with direct vision. This is a magnificent sight at low power.


Arp 318 – NGC 833/835/838/839

NGC 833: mag 12.7, size 1.8′ x 0.7′
NGC 835: mag 12.1, size 1.3′ x 1.1′
NGC 838: mag 13.0, size 1.2′ x 0.9′
NGC 839: mag 13.1, size 1.6′ x 0.7′

Challenge: Tail from NGC 835 toward NGC 838 (N)

sketch arp 318 ngc 835
Dijkgatsbos – Wieringermeer (SQM 21.1) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 10mm at 181x

All four components are seen, but not the streamers. NGC 833 shows a bit of an ellipse and is not noticeably brighter in the center. NGC 835 is the most distinct member one of the group, it’s round with a bright core. NGC 838 is smaller en dimmer, but the stellar core is clearly visible. NGC 839 is a small and round glow without any central brightening, with AV it swells a bit more.


Arp 331 – NGC 379 – 388, Pisces Cloud Galaxy chain

NGC 373: mag 16.6, size 0.4′
NGC 375: mag 15.7 size 1.4′
NGC 379: mag 13.9, size 1.4′ x 0.8′
NGC 380: mag 13.6, size 1.4′ x 1.2′
NGC 382: mag 14.2, size 0.7′
NGC 383: mag 13.4, size 1.6′ x 1.4′
NGC 384: mag 14.0, size 1.1′ x 0.9′
NGC 385: mag 13.9, size 1.1′ x 1.0′
NGC 386: mag 15.4, size 0.9′ x 0.8′
NGC 387: mag 17.2, size 0.4′
NGC 388: mag 15.4, size 0.9′ x 0.8′
UGC 679: mag 16.6, size 1.0′ x 0.3′

Challenge: All twelve galaxies in Arp’s field (P)

sketch arp 331 pisces cloud galaxy chain
Cornay (SQM 21.4) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 10mm at 181x

In total, 11 galaxies were seen in a field of 23 arc minutes. Most prominent is NGC 383 in the center of the chain. It’s the brightest and largest member of the group. Very close to it is NGC 382, somewhat dimmer and smaller. NGC 380 and NGC 379 to the N are about the same in size and brightness. NGC 379 is the only member in the group that does not appear round, but is shaped like an ellips (2:1). On the S side, NGC 384 and NGC 385 mark the end of the chain. These galaxies are dimmer than the ones in the center and to the N. With some effort NGC 386 and NGC 375 are visible too as small and dim specks in the field. Finally, with a lot of effort and AV, NGC 373; NGC 387 and NGC 388 can be glimpsed as well as tiny specks of nebulosity. UGC 679 remains hidden.


Arp 337 – M82 (NGC 3034)

mag 8.4, size 11.4′ x 4.3′

Challenge: The filaments projecting from the center (N)

sketch m82 cigar galaxy
Dijkgatsbos – Wieringermeer (SQM 21.1) – 16″ alkaid; pentax xw 7mm at 259x

The “Cigar Galaxy“. Very bright and very large with many immediately visible details. Three dark lanes, of which one is very apparent, are seen perpendicular to the plane. Additionally, there is a dark “notch” just behind a mag 15 star. The core is split by the the thickest dark lane and has a very mottled appearance. Stunning!