SSPM6. 4 in Horologium and Reticulum

By Scott Mellish, 1997

This instalment of Post Mortem covers four galaxies I observed during the November new Moon weekend at Wiruna. They are basically what I did not cover in the last issue. All the objects are fairly standard as galaxies go, however, they were quite interesting in the l6inch as they are all fairly bright objects and well defined.

The constellations of Horologium and Reticulum are well stocked with galaxies and can keep you interested for hours.

Sketch 1:
This shows a nice, practically edge on spiral galaxy of about 7' in length. A nice elongated fairly bright core punctuates the centre of the object with the outer structure tightly compressed in a long cigar shaped streak. No hint of a spiral arm was visible at such an acute angle, nor was there any mottling present in the l6inch at 86x. This galaxy had a soft even glow and was quite pleasant to look at. NGC 1448 is well worth a visit. At magnitude 11 it should prove quite easy.
Sketch 2:
This shows NGC 1493, another mag 11.0 galaxy, however very different in appearance to the previous NGC 1448. This object appears in the scope at 86x as a soft luminous smudge. Though well visible, there is no prominent core, but just a slight brightening towards the centre. Larger scopes may bring out some detail in this object, but in the l6inch it remains a featureless smudge around 1.6' x 1.5' in size.
Sketch 3:
This shows NGC 1536 another seemingly semi-face on spiral galaxy that is quite compact and bright for its size. At 126x this object is dense and not as soft to look at as the previous galaxies. In Burnhams it is listed as being of mag 13.2, but I would say it is more like mag 12.0. A nice object to come upon if you're a keen galaxy hunter. I must try and find a photograph of this object just to see how tightly wound the spiral arms are. NGC 1536 is about 1.5' x 0.9' in size
Sketch 4:
The last object featured in this article is NGC 1433 - a reasonably large, round galaxy of mag 11.0, that is practically face on. There is a bright core region visible with the hint of a central bar, which averted vision can show fairly distinctly in the l6inch at 86x. Apart from NGC 1448, I would rate this as my favourite galaxy of the four, as it can show some added detail if you observe it close enough.

If you are a keen galaxy hunter I trust you will keep Horologium and Reticulum in mind next time you're out with your scope observing.