SSPM5. 3 Objects in Fornax

By Scott Mellish, 1997

The constellation Fornax would have to be synonymous with galaxies. They abound within its confines and can keep one engrossed in observing for hours on end. However with this small article we will not visit a galaxy to start with, but a splendid planetary nebula which I had not bothered to observe in the past until Max Gardner mentioned it in passing which in turn sparked my interest.

NGC 1360 is a good example of what an O III filter can do to bring out detail in most planetary nebulae. In Sketch 1, the oval shaped object sports two lobes either side which are a touch brighter than the central region of the nebulae. Surprisingly the central star is one of the most luminous that I can remember observing in any planetary nebulae.

Sketch 1:
This is an exquisite object deserving of close observation even without an OIII filter for it is brighter that what you expect it would be. It is not an object I hear mentioned much, which leads me to believe that more people should pay it a visit some time. NGC 1360 is around 6.4' x 4.0' in size and the central star is around mag 8.5. A large and splendid object.
Sketch 2:
NGC 1398 is an apparent almost face on spiral with a bright core and misty outer halo. No arm structure is present and at 140x, the object is reasonably large and one of many such galaxies in Fornax to choose from.
Sketch 3:
NGC 1049 is the brightest globular visible in the Fornax system, a dwarf galaxy that is part of the local group. It is an extra-galactic globular cluster that is easily visible in the 16 inch at 140x. Though darkened more from the original drawing to aid in printing for the journal, the object is none the less quite distinct for such a distant globular and hence must be quite large to be visible at such a distance. NGC 1049 is catalogued at mag 13 with a diameter of 0.5'. A curious object if only for it's lying within the Fornax system. Try moving your scope back and forth slowly with a fairly wide field eyepiece. On a good night you may pick up a ghostly, ever so slight brightening in the field which indicates the Fornax dwarf system. If all else fails then use your averted imagination.

Clear Skies.