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(IAAC) Obj: PGC 54559 (Hoag's object) - Inst: 40" f/5 dob



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Observer: Mark G.Birkmann
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 3/27/2001, 9:45 UT (3:45 CST)
Location of site: New Haven, Missouri (Lat ~38, Elev ~700 feet)
Site classification: Rural
Sky darkness: 5 <1-10 Scale (10 best)>
Seeing: 5 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: 40" f/5 dob
Magnification: 143x, 408x
Filter(s): none
Object(s): PGC 54559 (Hoag's object)
Category: External galaxy.
Class: not listed in Megastar, appears to be a ring galaxy
Constellation: Serpens
Data: mag 15.0 (b)  size 54"
Position: RA 15h:17' 15.3"  DEC +21:35' 12"
Description:
This was my third attempt to see this galaxy. This time I was prepared with
a printout of the DSS image and was finally able to find it. I was only
able to confirm the stellar core, but I did suspect a faint haze around the
core. The galaxy is nearly between two stars in north west Serpens which
are naked eye from a dark site. The fainter of the two is listed in
megastar at visual magnitude 6.3. I was not able to hold this star with
direct vision but could see it well enough with averted vision to find the
field with the telrad.  Even though this is one of the fainter stars I've
seen from this site I rated the transparency at 5. This is based on my
observation of m61 which I observed a little earlier this night.  On good
nights I'm able to see the faint arm extending to the west from m61 but
suprisingly it was not visible on this night. I first became aware of this
galaxy at Al Kelly's CCD Astrophotography Page:
  http://www.ghg.net/akelly/
As can be seen in Al's excellent photo it is a ring shaped galaxy with
spokes. I may never be able to see more than the core but I will certainly
try again on a better night.
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Optional related URLs: http://www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/twyford/637/drawings.htm
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