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A Superthin, Hickson 68 and Arp 84 with 18"

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Posted (edited)

Was out yesterday morning with the freshly fine-tuned  (barlowed laser method) 18" f/4.5 Obsession in Canes Venatici. Sue French's book "Deep-Sky Wonders" had pointed me to Hickson 68 (pg.148), and described another interesting object close by, the edge-on galaxy NGC 5023 (12.2 mag, 6,2x0.8 arc min) as visible in her 4". It's not listed in the Night Sky Observers Guide, and not plotted in the Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas/Guide, so I was curious and paid M 51 and it's spiral galore only a short visit. With the 24mmf/82° ES, better with a 16 mmf Ortho, the galaxy displayed, faintly visible directly, more extended with AV, an extremely, N-S orientated streak,without a central bulge or dust lane. Steve Gottlieb, DSO doyen, mentions the galaxy as one of the flattest in the NGC. To spot it with 4" needs real owl eyes. Over, under 5.6 mag/21.2 SQM-L skies, but excellent seeing, to Hickson 68, a lovely and bright group of 5 members (observed by several members of this forum). The brightest, 5353 (10.9) was seen in the 10 mmf Ortho (205x mag) as a 3:1 oval,N-S, close by N it's companion 5354 was contrasting round(er), with a bright core region. 5350 (11.4) appeared fainter, slightly elongated. 5355 (14.0), NE,small, round, could be made out well with direct vision, 5358 (14.8), close to a pair of stars was even smaller, but still visible directly, elongated. All members were visible in the same field of view; a splendid sight together with a yellow-white 6.5 star to the west.  5371 showed diffuse, without structure.

Next was the nice pair Arp 84 ("The Heron", from it's photographic shape). 5395,(11.5; 3:1) was easy; the interacting 5394 (12.9) NW of it fainter; the tidal arms between them could not be made out - beginning dawn at 02.35 CEST. Rewarding targets; pleased with the scope's collimation and so to bed after two hours.

Thanks for reading

Edit: picture of 5023 added (GALEX; Wikimedia)

NGC 5023 GALEX WikiSky.jpg

Hickson 68:



Edited by Nyctimene
Pictures added
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