NGC 5473, H 1. 214 – 2010 07 12

2010 July 12, 0331UT-0417UT

NGC 5473, H 1. 214, UGC 9011 Constellation Ursa Major
Galaxy Type SA(s)cd pec IV-V, 0.6’x4.9’, m10.8, SB 14.3

PCW Memorial Observatory, Ohio USA – Erika Rix
16” Zhumell, 12mm Burgess, 150x magnification

S: P.7, T: 2/6-0/6, H: 83% – >90%, Temp: 20°C-19.3°C

After locating M101 as a reference point, I pointed the telescope to where I thought NGC 5473 should be. I noticed a short chain of stars with a faint diffused glow at the following end. Moving the scope around, the glow remained in the same aligned position with the stars so I knew I had found at least one of the galaxies in the area and didn’t have a photo/sketch of 5473 in my reference books to look it up. It would have to wait until I came back inside to search the Web for confirmation.

The center of the target had a star nearly in the center with another just outside of it to the NE. The problem is, both NGC 5473 and 5474 have a 13th magnitude star on the NE edge of the galaxies. Looking directly at the galaxy, it appeared round, but using averted vision, it was actually a little oblong, brighter in the middle and then fading as it reached outward.

The views were getting dimmer and the roof of the observatory was the culprit, I was unable to push it further back and had to try to finish my star field with less than half of the mirror’s capability. I walked away from the eyepiece to cross-reference my target with a star map. I wanted to make one last attempt at confirming my target with the star references as it related to M101 (I could fit both M101 and NGC 5473 in my FOV with my 13mm Ethos), but by the time I came back to the scope, not only was the roof hindering my views, but the clouds had obscured the whole area.

A few coyotes were crying out in the distance. Thankfully my observing buddies, Riser, Buttercup and 4-month-old Freckles (who has taken quite a shine to Riser) didn’t seem to take any notice of them and continued sleeping on their duvet a few feet away from me in the observatory.

It’s very frustrating not being able to confirm a target on the spot and even more so when you’re back inside and having no success finding information on it from the Internet to do so. Exhaustion and frustration finally won over and I decided to try again in the morning. Looking at numerous images and star fields on the Net, I finally came across the image that confirmed my target as NGC 5473. It was one of the images from the Herschel (NGC/IC) project.


~ by Erika Rix on July 12, 2010.

4 Responses to “NGC 5473, H 1. 214 – 2010 07 12”

  1. Erika,

    Fantastic sketch of NGC 5473. Just great. Excellent site

  2. Missed you too. There has been some illness in my wife’s family going on, plus my work schedule has been brutal.

    Your site and its content was a welcome relief from the grind.

  3. I’m really sorry to hear that and will be thinking of you and your family. Hope you have a little spare time now and again for yourself to relax behind an eyepiece. The combination of family illness and heavy work schedule can really take a toll on a person.

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