|NGC 205=M110: Elliptical Galaxy (Andromeda) RA: 00h 40.4m / DEC: +41° 41'.6|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
Seventeen Messier objects are included in the Herschel 400 observing list. M110 (NGC 205) is one of them. The decision to include so many objects from this catalog may seem odd, at first. But consider which objects are included. M102 and M104 through M110 account for eight of this subset. If you take a purist's view of the Messier catalog, and stopped at M103 while skipping the controversial M102 entirely, you'll have to observe the remaining objects in order to get your Herschel 400 certificate. M20, the Trifid, is a combination emission/reflection nebula. Observing the reflection nebula is a real challenge. M33 is a large, low surface brightness galaxy and, again, a challenging observation. NGC 5195, aka M51B, is often overlooked by folks hunting the famous Whirlpool galaxy. M76 is an bi-polar planetary nebula. M82 is another very interesting object, visually. So in addition to including objects that complete the full Messier catalog, the Herschel 400 includes some of the more interesting nebulae and galaxies in that famous list.
And then there's this object, M110. My sketch presents a 36X view in my 10-inch, f/4.5 Newtonian. The true field of view is about 90 arc minutes. M31 is visible as a swath of nebulosity cutting a path northeast to southwest through the field. It features a stellar nuclear region within a 15'x6' core. This is encased within the glow produced by more than 200 thousand-million stars. M32, a satellite galaxy, is visible about 20' south of M31. M32 is a magnitude 8.0 elliptical galaxy, 4' in diameter, with a bright core. M110, another satellite of M31 and a target on the Herschel 400 list, is seen just inside the northern edge of the field. This 8.1 magnitude elliptical galaxy covers a 15'x6' area. This gives the last object in Charles Messier's catalog a surface brightness of just 22.7 magnitude per square arc second. It is easily the most difficult of the three galaxies to detect.
Layout, design & revisions © W. D. Ferris
Comments and Suggestions: email@example.com
Revised: January 18, 2003 [WDF]