FUZZY SPOT, December 2002, Pegasus
We'll end this year with the winged horse, Pegasus, one of my favorite mythological characters. After slaying Medusa, Perseus rode Pegasus to free Andromeda from the sea demon, Cetus.
The most obvious part of Pegasus is the great square, even though one of the stars belongs to Andromeda. Since Pegasus is out of the Milky Way, most objects here are galaxies, although a fantastic globular cluster, M-15, is here. Beyond M-15, you have to look hard and deep to see much. I'll cover a few of the only slightly difficult objects here. Another item of interest is that Pegasus contains NGC 1. I have observed all of the objects listed here, with the exception of NGC 1 and 2, in my 10" scope.
NGC 1 (00 07.3 +27 42) and NGC 2 These galaxies are tough, and are included here for the novelty of observing the first object in the NGC. This observation was made in my 20" scope. NGC 1 is somewhat faint, pretty small, has a slightly brighter middle and an even brighter non-stellar nucleus. With averted vision, it is possibly elongated E/W. There are 2 stars to the N and one to the SW. NGC 2, almost due S, is very faint, and pretty small, with no other detail seen.
NGC 7078 (21 30.0 +12 10) Now we go to the celebrity of Pegasus, the globular cluster M-15. It is very large and pretty bright, gradually brightening towards the middle, then suddenly very much brighter in the nucleus. There are many stars resolved, I estimated at least 200 over a granular background. There is somewhat of a dark lane on the SE.
NGC 7217 (22 07.9 +31 22) Back to faint galaxies, this one is fairly small, with a fairly bright middle containing a bright sub-stellar nucleus which comes and goes with seeing. The galaxy is round. A fairly bright star is noticed to SE of the galaxy. Using averted vision makes halo pop out.
NGC 7320 (22 36.1 +33 57) along with 7317, 7318A, 7318B, and 7319 These galaxies are Stephan's Quintet. Although tough, I was able to see three smudges in the 10" scope using a hood and a lot of averted vision. I noted them as extremely faint with only 2 certain, one other suspected. They sit in a triangle of fairly faint stars. Best described as lumpy darkness. Increasing the aperture to 20" allowed me to see all 5. 7320, the brightest of the quintet, is somewhat small, somewhat faint, elongated NW/SE 2:1. A star is involved, but is probably not the nucleus. 7318 A/B are to NW. Seen as very small and pretty faint, the two are split as much brighter middles sharing the same halo. To the N of 7320 is 7319 which is very small, pretty faint, and very slightly brighter in the middle. Finally to W of 7320 is 7317. It is very small, very faint, and slightly brighter in the middle. There is a bright star to NW which interferes slightly.
NGC 7331 (22 37.1 +34 25) This galaxy is very bright, pretty large, extremely elongated N/S, with a bright core and an ever brighter stellar nucleus. There are 2 fairly bright stars on the E. Try as I might, I could see no companions in the 10" scope, but was able to see 6 companions in the 20" scope. This galaxy is bright enough to even be seen from my back yard in the 10" scope.
NGC 7448 (23 00.0 +15 59) This galaxy is somewhat bright, pretty small, slightly brighter in the middle, contains a stellar nucleus which comes and goes, and is elongated N/S. It is situated between 2 stars on the ESE and WNW. There appears to be a faint fuzzy star to the WNW which is actually a very close triple star.
NGC 7479 (23 04.9 +12 19) This galaxy is somewhat faint, pretty large with a little brightening toward the middle and with mottling suspected. It is very elongated NE/SW. There is a faint star to the NE and a brighter star to the SW. A nice galaxy in an out of the way place.
NGC 7743 (23 44.4 +09 56) The last galaxy of the year is somewhat bright, somewhat small, and a little brighter in the middle, using averted vision shows an occasional non-stellar nucleus. The N/S elongated halo is seen pretty good even with direct vision. The galaxy sits in a nice string of stars that run ENE/WSW.
Herschel 400 Objects
7217, 7331, 7448, 7479
SACs 110 Best of the NGC Objects