FUZZY SPOT, December 1999, Aries

Aries is the first constellation in the Zodiac, but is probably one of the poorest both in stars and in deep sky objects.  As is typical for many constellations, it is very hard to see a Ram in the pattern of 3 stars.

This month we will look at a handful of small and fairly faint galaxies, along with an obscure and out of the way open cluster.

Most of these observations were made in my novice days, so they are pretty brief.  It is always interesting to go back and compare current observations with early ones.

        NGC 680 (01h49.8 +21 57) This galaxy is moderately bright, somewhat small, and pretty easy to find at 100X.  The star 1 Aries just out of field of view, and there is an arc of 5 stars around the galaxy.  I did not notice any elongation.

        NGC 697 (01h51.3 +22 21) I found this galaxy at 70X, but it was better observed at 100X.  It is pretty small, very elongated, somewhat bright, and has a little brighter middle.  Averted vision makes it grow somewhat.

        NGC 772 (01h59.4 +19 00) Here we have a galaxy that is somewhat small, somewhat bright, little elongated NW/SE, and has a middle that comes and goes.

        NGC 821 (02h08.3 +10 59) I had a tough time finding this galaxy due to it's very small size and being next to a fairly bright star.  I did note it as fairly bright, somewhat elongated, and brighter in the middle.

        NGC 877 (02h18.1 +14 33) I noted this galaxy as pretty large, real bright, elongated, and containing a little brighter middle.  There is a threshold star next to it.  Not much detail in this galaxy.

        NGC 972 (02h34.3 +29 20) This galaxy is pretty easy to find, being next to 2 bright stars.  It is pretty small, fairly bright, and elongated at 70X.  The middle is brighter, but I did not notice any nucleus.  Using averted vision makes it grow.

        NGC 1156 (02h59.8 +25 14) The last galaxy of the month is pretty bright, moderately large, and elongated N/S.  It is easy to find at 70X, but looks better at 100X.  There is a star right off the N end.

        DoDz 1(02h47.4 +17 12) The final object of the month is an open cluster of sorts.  I saw this cluster as pretty large, bright, very poor, and very loose.  There are 3 levels of stars with a count of 17 stars.  Being out of the Milky Way, the cluster does form a nice grouping.

Herschel 400 Objects
SAC's 110 Best of the NGC Objects