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Nova2000

Mirach's ghost?

17 posts in this topic

When I was browsing stellerium I saw a galaxy next to mirach. It's magnitude 10. Can I see this galaxy with a 6' skywatcher newtonian in a site where the naked eye magnitude is 5_6?

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That would indeed be NGC 404 or Mirach's ghost. Quite easy in my Celestron C8. The only reason it is readily overlooked is the proximity of Mirach.

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Never looked for it visually but have imaged it with my 150p.

 

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It's possible to see it I think in your situation. You need to look at Mirach to see it quite often - using averted vision, it 'pops' out. Here's my sketch albeit with a 12" scope. The biggest star is Mirach.

 

 

NGC404.png

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I was having a look at it the other night in my 10" and it stands out quite well in that, quite an impressive sight alongside Mirach. It's very well placed at the moment, almost directly overhead, so you certainly have a chance with your 6".

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It's a nice galaxy :icon_biggrin:

I've seen it with my ED120 refractor. Nice and easy with my 12" dob. I've tried showing it at outreach events. Some folks can see it but some can't. I expect they mistake it for an optical artifact !

My usual naked eye limit is around 5.5 so I'ms sure it's within the grasp of a 6" scope.

 

Edited by John

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I can see it in my 8 inch Dob, but conditions have to be good.

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It was easy enough to see with my 8" SCT when I last observed it.  Agree that the transparency has to be good though.

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A surprisingly lovely sight from a dark sky site, Nick.IMG_4255.JPG

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Its quite interesting to view and as shown in Nick's sketch is quite close to the star.  Easily visible in my C9.25" and a mag 5 sky.

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NGC404 is not a difficult object; the "ghost" nickname came about because the relative proximity to Mirach led to the galaxy being omitted from some of the star atlases used by amateurs in former decades - it was easy but unmarked. There are many targets made obscure by neighbouring stars. For a serious challenge there's the "Ghost of Zosma" (NGC 3588) - tricky in a 12-inch. But perhaps the ultimate challenge is the "Ghost of Alnilam" (NGC 1990) - which is non-existent, despite being in the second Herschel 400 list. A true ghost!

 

 

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I glimpsed it with a 5-incher. Use higher power to increase the seperation between the star and galaxy, and keep the star just outside your viewfield after you locate it. Without the star's glare the galaxy is easier to see (with averted vision).

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The OP says 6' Skywatcher, should be easy in that.   :icon_biggrin: 

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OK thanks for your help everyone. I'll try it out. 

Clear skies! 

Cheers

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Ghost of Mirach is one of my favourite object to see!

I can easily locate it through my 3.5 inch refractor using 36x magnification, but at 90x the galaxy is easy to notice. 

Most of the time, even I have skies with limiting mag of around 5.5, so it should not be a problem for you at all!

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Easy to see in my 8" f/4 Hofheim traveldob in moderate skies (NELM 5.6). As Ben the Ignorant says above, it is important to keep Mirach just out of view. I'm using my "non-observing" eye to get to the right spot, then change over to my preferred observing eye to avoid a slight loss of dark adaption. To me, it shows best in an eyepiece with few glass elements, e.g. Plössl or orthoscopic.

Stephan

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I can see it quite easily with my ED120 refractor. Mirach in the FoV as well - that makes the whole scene more interesting for me :icon_biggrin:

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