|NGC 1407: Elliptical Galaxy (Eridanus) RA: 03h 40.2m / DEC: -18° 34'.8|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
Eridanus, the River, flows through the night sky like a gentle mountain stream. Winding its way southward past Cetus and Fornax, Eridanus eventually rambles below the southern horizon for Northern Hemisphere observers. Sweep your telescope along Eridanus' twisting shoreline, and you will undoubtedly run across a few galaxies. NGC 1300 is arguably the most impressive. However, if you enjoy framing more than one galaxy at a time in the eyepiece, slew eastward to NGCs 1400 and 1407. NGC 1407 is the larger and brighter of the pair. It's also on the Herschel 400 observing list. NGC 1407 covers a 3' diameter area and shines at magnitude 9.6, which is bright as galaxies go. The E0-type galaxy shares the field with NGC 1400, visible just 12' to the southwest. This 10.9 magnitude star city covers a 2' diameter area. Both show stellar cores when viewed at 129X (Meade 8.8-mm UWA) in my 10-inch Starfinder equatorial Newtonian. You'll find this pairing about 1.5 degrees southeast of 5.2 magnitude 20 Eridani.
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Revised: January 20, 2003 [WDF]