Challenge Object - February 2021

Original article appears in GuideStar February, 2021.

by Stephen Jones

February Challenge Objects

 

Vis Chal Feb 2021.png

NGC-2292 – spiral galaxy in Canis Major

RA 06h47m39.3s Dec -26deg 44’47”

Size 3.5’x2.8’ Vmag 11.8

 

NGC-2293 - spiral galaxy in Canis Major

RA 06h47m43.3s Dec -26deg 45’19”

Size 4.2’x3.3’ Vmag 12.3

 

NGC-2295 – spiral galaxy in Canis Major

RA 06h47m23.7s Dec -26deg 44’07”

Size 2.1’x0.6’ Vmag 13.6

 

For the last several months this challenge object column has featured objects that are still relatively bright, perhaps with some challenging details.  This month we’re going to go a little deeper, for a bit fainter, but quite rewarding trio of objects.  These 3 galaxies were discovered by John Herschel in 1835.  The brighter two galaxies are very close together, and are known to be interacting with each other; in deep images the galaxies can be seen to share an outer halo.  The third galaxy NGC 2295 is also physically associated with the interacting pair, and is much closer to edge-on from our vantage point.  The galaxies are roughly 100 million light years from Earth.  My log is as follows:

1/7/2021 10:50 pm – 16” f/4.5 203x

lovely group; NGC 2292/3 is an interacting pair of galaxies very close together; very bright nuclei with small halos; NW-SE of each other; the NW galaxy (2292) is brighter; halos are definitely touching; both direct vision.  To the NW is NGC 2295; very elongated NE-SW; fainter but still direct vision; no obvious nucleus but some superimposed stars; fairly evenly bright and thin

 

This group of galaxies is located in the Southern portion of Canis Major.  I star-hopped to it from Epsilon Canis Majoris (Adhara).  The charts below should help you get there.  The brighter pair of galaxies should be visible in an 8-10 inch telescope from the Dark Site; the fainter NGC 2295 make take a little bit larger scope or darker skies.  If you can’t locate them at first, keep at it!  Challenging yourself can be highly rewarding in this hobby. 

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