(IAAC) Obj: ngc 6946 - Inst: C14 f/11 SCT, Losmandy G11

Observation Poster: G. Nowell <gnowell@nycap.rr.com>
Observer: G. Nowell
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 9 August 2002, 06:00 UT
Location of site: Chimney Mntn, New York (Lat , Elev )
Site classification: Rural
Sky darkness: 6.3 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: C14 f/11 SCT, Losmandy G11
Magnification: 230x
Filter(s): none
Object(s): ngc 6946
Category: External galaxy.
Constellation: Cyg
Data: mag 9.7  size 15' 
Position: RA 20:35  DEC 60:09
20 34 52.1 +60 09 10; Steinecke at www.ngcic.org lists as in Cygnus, so does NGC Max database and Sky Atlas 2000.  Confusion arises because 6939 the more visible open cluster is just over the line in Cepheus and this is sometimes promoted as the Cepheus "galaxy + cluster" double object.  That is true for widefield scopes, in a c14 just the edge of 6939 and the edge of 6946 are visible in the same 43 arc minute diameter fov, bisected by a bright 8th mag star.  Separation is thus about the same as M81/M82.  
The object is oval in appeareance with two broadly curving arms, one more elognated, like giant commas sweeping broadly from the offset central core.  Sustained inspection shows more details.  This object fills a 21 arc minute diameter eyepiece in a manner comparable to M51.  Unlike other Messier galaxies (M101, M51 for example) it does not have the bluish-white hue, but seemed more like a glowing gray in space.  I have not seen any other ngc galaxy object quite like it.  (It photographs faint blue, however).  The surface brightness is low but does not force averted eye viewing like typical faint 1 x 2' ngc objects.  Although the core may be visible in aperture under ten inches and from light polluted sights, this object is clearly more aperture friendly than the handful of other galaxies of similar or greater size.  The visual magnitude significantly higher than the surface brightness.           
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