|Hickson 88: Galaxy Cluster (Aquarius) RA: 20h 52.5m / DEC: -05° 44'.7|
Instrument: 18-inch Obsession
Hickson 88 is populated by four galaxies, three of which are presented in my sketch. The drawing captures a 199X view in the big Obsession. NGC 6977 (Hickson 88B) is centered. This barred-spiral/peculiar mix presents as an oval. Its 14.1(B) magnitude glow is spread across a 1'.2 by 0'.8 area having an east-west alignment. Just 2'.5 to the northeast, a 1'.5 by 0'.5 finger of light emerges from the night. This is NGC 6978, also known as Hickson 88A. An Sb-type galaxy, NGC 6978 has a blue magnitude of 14.1. A 15th magnitude GSC star stands between Hickson 88A and 88B. NGC 6976 is the southern-most member of the trio. Hickson 88C is round and fat, about 1' in diameter and 14.8(B) magnitude in brightness. The missing member of the quartet is MCG -01-53-14, a 15.8(B) magnitude galaxy almost 4' southwest of Hickson 88C. I'll have to try for this guy another night.
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Revised: October 30, 2005 [WDF]