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In keeping with the idea of having separate threads to keep our observations together rather than get lost amongst the many other posts, here is the Hickson thread. 

If you have any more resources PM me and I can add them into this first post, whilst I am able to edit it.

If as the thread develops you can see improvements/different ideas then post your thoughts. Mike





Hicksons sorted by constellation.xlsx

Hicksons sorted by number.xlsx

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I'm going to set the ball rolling with Hickson 40 from last night. This is a tight grouping of 5 galaxies around 310 million light years away. What's more, there are 5 distinct type of galaxy on display, some of which I think can be appreciated in this zoomed in shot (from top to bottom):

Mag Type
15.1 S0-a
13.8 E
17.4 SABa
15.7 SBab
15.0 E-S0

North is up, East to the left

I must say that that mag 17.4 galaxy appears brighter to me



Here's a shot giving some idea of scale and the isolated nature of this group:


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I enjoy this group. Wins the award for prettiness. It is of course Arp 321 so we get two for the price of one and as you say 5 different galaxy types.

Below is a cropped image from awhile back with the galaxies labelled.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hickson 67

Time for another Hickson Compact Group I reckon.

Hickson 67 is also designated as one the Vorontsov-Velyaminov interacting galaxy groups VV 135

The labelling of the members is based on the Hickson grouping. Looking at the Vorontsov-Velyaminov atlas I’m not sure whether Hickson 67b is classed as part of VV 135.

The most obvious components are Hickson 67a, which is NGC 5306 and Hickson 67b, which is MCG-01-35-013 (PGC 40917).

NGC 5306 is 331 Mly based on its redshift.

Mike JW included this one in a post about a year ago and gave some more information:


For some reason I like the appearance of the NGC 5306 with the surrounding galaxies and stars.





The non-viewing weather is giving me a bit of time to look at some of the observations I made thanks to the clear nights we had recently.




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  • 3 months later...

August 18th.

I spent a leisurely time in Capricorn, taking advantage of transparent skies to peruse the DSOs low down. Never easy at the low DEC and the camera was of course noisy in these summer temperatures.

Hickson 87


NGC 5306
PGC 49017
PGC 49040
PGC 49036

E1 pec
S0 pec




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  • 2 months later...

HICKSON 10 in Andromeda

It has been awhile since we have had a Hickson post. So to that end I re-visited Hickson 10 and in the excitement of the view I only just included component B (at the top). I was enjoying the diffraction spikes (again!).

The galaxy in the centre NGC 536 and NGC 542 below it are both spirals. Above is NGC 531 is a lenticular and the fourth member (at the top - NGC 529) is an elliptical. NGC 536 - the bar can be clearly seen. Also what interests me is that there is one obvious, main arm extending along way upwards NGC 529, the opposite is well defined near the bar and then peters out. High resolution images show this arm forming part of a ring around the central core (picked up the ring).  Beyond the central area is a halo of stars.

Just sneaking in at bottom left is PGC 5421 - mag 15.8.


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Thanks Marv.

As you realise, there is a group of us that so enjoy using the EEVA technique to 'observe' followed by finding out more information. Personally I see little observational value in simply posting an image with no comment as to the object. I shall look forward to you posting in this forum. Ask for guidance if you need any help.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Hickson 16

The Webb Deep Sky Society Galaxy of the Month for November 2020 is NGC 833.

See this link for more interesting detail.


This, together with three neighbours, is Hickson 16. The group is also Arp 318. Owen Brazell (Webb Soc. Galaxy Section Director) comments that Arp 318 may also include NGC 848, but this in not in my snapshot. The group is also VV 1007.

The Hickson members are labelled below

Hickson 16a = NGC835

Hickson 16b = NGC833

Hickson 16c = NGC838

Hickson 16d = NGC839

Among other interesting features of the members of this group is NGC 833's classification as a Seyfert Type 2. I has a very active nucleus and are very bright in the infra-red.

The group is about 160 Mly away.



The observation was on 22 November and the snapshot is 32 x 15 second exposures using SLL and Jocular 0.3. Seeing and transparency were a bit second rate.

Best regards



Edited by Bill S
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  • 1 month later...

This observation started off being about Hickson 56. Hickson 56 is in Ursa Major and I was looking at objects in this part of the sky because it was away from a nearly full moon high in the sky.

The components of the group are identified in this shot. The group minus a is also Arp 322. It’s also VV 150.


Here's a wider field shot.


I noticed another interesting larger object – NGC 3718. I could see a lot more detail because of its size. This is about 52 Mly away and has a bit of an S shape. It’s a barred spiral galaxy but because of its slightly strange shape it was added to Arp’s list as Arp 214.

Reading up about NGC 3718 there was mention that its shape may be because of an earlier interaction with NGC 3729. I looked through some of my earlier shots and found one showing Hickson 56/Arp 322 + NGC 3718/Arp 214 + NGC 3729. NGC 3729 is about 65 Mly away. It’s another barred spiral.


Sorry about the light pollution / gradients. Good job this is EEVA and not astrophotography.

Best regards




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Thanks for this post, Bill. It has sent me off looking at my past shots of this area. My shot of Hickson 56 with the C11 does not add any more details than your shot. NGC 3718 - wonderful sight with its twisting dust lane, off set nucleus.



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These are amazingly clean shots given the presence of the full moon -- a real testament to the way EEVA extends the viewing 'season' each month.

I recall when I visited this group looking for 3 or 4 quasars in the vicinity in the mag 19-20 class. There are also some mag 18-19 galaxies with apparent distances in the 2.2-2.7 billion light year range strung out between NGC 3718 and NGC 3729. Lots going on in this field in spite of it all fitting into less than half a degree field of view. Small sensors at moderate focal lengths are great!


Edited by Martin Meredith
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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Whilst tracking other DSOs in Cancer I could not resist a detour to Hickson 36. It has four components but quite plainly there are two more galaxies to the right of the main component (IC 528).

All four are described as spirals with IC 528 being mag 15. To me this galaxy looks rather like a ring galaxy. 

They are not a true group - A = approx 177 million lyrs away.  B = approx 704 million lyrs. C = approx 397 million lyrs. D = approx 708 million lyrs away. To the right of the core of IC 528 the galaxy is mag 17 and 167 million lyrs away. The tiny galaxy just off the bottom right of 528 is mag 19 and no distance given.

(Image tweaked in photoshop)




Edited by Mike JW
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Another Saturn galaxy! 

For the purpose of anyone wanting to compare different setups, this is what I was able to get, oriented/framed to appear like yours. The additional focal length and slightly smaller pixels provide a clear benefit in your setup in terms of the clarity of the gap between the core and 'ring' in the main galaxy and of course the blocky stars in my case. (Assuming seeing etc the same, quite an assumption...)


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