SSPM13. January '98 New Moon at Wiruna

By Scott Mellish, 1998

Most of the Ilford regulars arrived over the Australia Day weekend in January, unfortunately my days off did not coordinate with this date so I was resigned to traveling up the following weekend. I was not alone though as Steve Amorengen arrived with his 25" obsession for a weekend's observing.

The weather was very dodgey the whole time, with very unpredictable cloud cover. None-the-less the sky did present some choice moments and some productive observing did ensue.

Sketch 1:
NGC 2222 and 2221 present themselves as two very nice and compact edge-wise spiral galaxies of, I would say, around 13th magnitude. I rather liked these quaint objects as they were well defined and almost identical in shape. I did not discern any core points however, there was a barely noticeable brighter streak running through the bottom galaxy which did make it slightly brighter than its companion.

These are two very rewarding small galaxies situated in Pictor so, if you're in the vicinity, drop in for a visit. Also of note is an ESO galaxy which I missed, it should be in the same field at around ten arc minutes to the NNE of the top galaxy. (ES0161-1) if you have a copy of the Deep Space CCD Atlas South - it is on page 42.

Sketch 2:
Shows NGC 432 an inconspicuous small elongated smudge in Tucana. There is nothing particularly out of the ordinary with this galaxy only that it appears to be plotted in the center of the Southern Abell Galaxy Cluster as 137 which is marked in the Millennium Star Atlas vol 1 page 479. Despite some vigorous observing I could not locate any other faint galaxies in the same field as NGC 432, however there was another object of similar brightness about 20' SE. No doubt larger scopes may discern a few more galaxies within the vicinity but the cluster may be fairly spread out or the galaxies are just exceedingly faint requiring a very good sky to discern them.
Sketch 3:
NGC 466 appears to be a face on spiral, though it could be anything for all I know.

It is a soft smudge with a reasonably evident core region. Not a galaxy of any great note, but at 210x magnification it is fairly large for your usual run of the mill galaxy.

Sketch 4:
Over to Eridanus now, where I came across NGC 782, which is a more substantial galaxy than the previous objects. Here we have a rotund smudge of around 13th mag. The eastern edge of the galaxy has a bright star involved with it which, at first, I could not detect with any certainty on the CCD image on page thirteen of the Deep Space CCD Atlas South. However, it was over to the Carnege Atlas of Galaxies where the star is shown on panel 164. So, any thoughts of supernova were put to rest.

The galaxy however does show signs of the barest hint of spiral structure especially the western edge which does (with adverted vision) appear to be detached.

This is a very interesting object and quite bright at 210x mag, averted vision works well on this object so give it a go if you ever get around to NGC 782.

Clear Skies.