|Hickson 71: Galaxy Cluster (Bootes) RA: 14h 11.0m / DEC: +25° 29'.8|
Instrument: 18-inch Obsession
Hickson 71 is a quartet of galaxies in western Bootes and three of its members are presented in this observation. The brightest is NGC 5008 (aka IC 4381). This 14.4(B) magnitude galaxy is centered in my sketch, which captures a 199X view in the Obsession. NGC 5008 (Hickson 71A) is about an arcminute in diameter. A stellar core is embedded within this galaxy's circular glow. Averted vision reveals IC 4382 as a constantly visible target some 1'.8 to the north-northeast. Hickson 71B appears as a slightly elongated 20" patch of haze surrounding a faintly stellar core. The 15.4(B) magnitude galaxy is aligned nearly north-south. Hickson 71C is much more challenging. This 16.3(B) magnitude galaxy, PGC 50640, is only intermittently visible with averted vision as a delicate foggy patch, 20" in size and about 2' east-southeast of NGC 5008. Hickson 71D was not seen. This cluster's location is marked by a triangular asterism of stars gathered just southwest of NGC 5008. The brightest of these is the 10.5 magnitude star at the apex of the asterism.
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Revised: May 26, 2006 [WDF]