SSPM4. July 1996 at Wiruna

By Scott Mellish, 1996

It may be a bit late to be writing about objects that I observed and sketched in July, but I held off with this article because the objects dealt with are all galaxies which do not print too well in the journal. However having seen the high quality of the printing in the October issue of Universe I thought it may be worthwhile digging up the following sketches form the July new moon at Wiruna.

Sketch 1:
Firstly, we have here a semi-edge-on spiral in Grus, NGC 7410. Basically your regular type of cigar shaped faint galaxy at around mag 11.0 Some brightness towards it's centre is apparent, but not a stand out feature. I would say this galaxy is about 4.0' x 1.0' in size.


Sketch 2:
Next is a smaller, yet remotely similar type of galaxy in Grus, NGC 7456 (Sketch 2) a nice little faint fuzzy with a somewhat rotund shape, but very little in the likes of detail, and next to nothing in the form of a bright core region. A fairly standard object of about mag 13.0 and around 3.5' x 1.0' in size.


Sketch 3:
This shows an elongated streak around 2' in length, this another typical edge on galaxy which you tend to come across in their droves. At 126x, this object was quite vivid for its small size. at mag 12.0 IC 5271 was well visible and easy to locate.


Sketch 4:
NGC 6438 - 6438A is a circumpolar duo in Octans. I could not find a great deal of information about this pair but one only has to look to see that there is obvious signs that they are an interacting pair of around mag 12.5, and would have to be one of the brighter circumpolar galaxies. NGC 6438 is the more luminous of the two and one can only wonder as to what is occurring between this pair. If you own a copy of Exploring the Southern Sky, turn to page 79 and take a look at plate 84 - what a mess!


Sketch 5:
Yet another tiny edge on spiral, very small but quite bright, somewhat elongated with uniform brightness, about 1.0' in length and well defined. (NGC 7051 )


Sketch 6:
An interesting little trio in Ara here. NGC 6215 and NGC 6221 with a minute ESO 138-1 thrown into the bargain, 6215 visually appears to look like an elliptical galaxy, but upon reading up on it, it is an Sb galaxy at Mag. 11.2 at about 1.8' x 1.4' in size. The central region is brightest with a faint but barley discernible outer halo. NGC 6221 is an interesting face on spiral with no discernible spiral structure. A bright core region gives way to a ghostly outer halo, giving a "Planetary nebula" type of appearance.

To the bottom left as marked, is ESO 138-1. I was not sure this was a galaxy or a star at first, but after about 10 minutes observing and using averted vision I was reasonably sure that this object was a galaxy. The field guide to Uranometria placed it in this area so I am about 99% sure that ESO 138-1 is the object shown here. 

I hope you have gained some inspiration from this motley collection of galaxies highlighted in this article.

Clear Skies.