|Hickson 67: Galaxy Cluster (Virgo) RA: 13h 49.2m / DEC: -07° 13'.5|
Instrument: 18-inch Obsession
This is an interesting cluster. Hickson 67 is populated by four galaxies. Three are closely-packed, to the point of overlapping. And the fourth is isolated from the main group. This loner galaxy is Hickson 67B, also known as PGC 49017. In my sketch, which captures a 199X view, Hickson 67B is the slender patch of haze standing 3'.3 northwest of the main group. It is elongated northeast to southwest and covers a 2' by 0'.5 area. This Sb-type galaxy shines at 15.1(B) magnitude and is quite tenuous in the big Obsession.
Hickson 67's remaining members are clustered just 3'.3 to the southeast. Of these, the brightest is NGC 5306. It is a 13.1(B) magnitude giant elliptical galaxy that is also known as Hickson 67A. This stellar gotham appears as a 1' diameter glow, gradually brightening towards the middle and punctuated by a stellar core. This giant is flanked to the north and south by tiny, challenging galaxies. First to emerge, is PGC 49040. This is Hickson 67C, a 15.7(B) magnitude Scd-type stationed 45" north of NGC 5306. At first, this galaxy was just a distraction. But later, I'm able to see it as a consistently haze--tenuous and teasing, but always in the same location. Even more difficult is Hickson 67D. This is PGC 49036, a 15.8(B) magnitude galaxy immediately south of Hickson 67A. Mostly, it appears as an ear on the side of NGC 5306's noggin. But on occasion--during moments of good seeing--there is clear separation between the two.
Twenty-four stars are scattered throughout the field. Most are 14th or 15th magnitude. But 9.0 magnitude HD 120386 does sparkle about 5'.5 south of NGC 5306. It's obviously the brightest star in the field.
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Revised: April 30, 2006 [WDF]