|NGC 404: Spiral Galaxy (Andromeda) RA: 01h 09.5m / DEC: +35° 43'.1|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
This is quite simply one of the finest views in the deep sky. NGC 404 is a 10.3 magnitude, 3' diameter spiral galaxy. Normally, this would be a fairly pedestrian target but--there's always a but--NGC 404 basks in the glare of Beta Andromedae, a 2.1 magnitude star popularly known as Mirach. Mirach is bright enough to present classic diffraction spikes in my Starfinder. The delicate circular form of NGC 404 emerges from the night 6'.7 to the northwest. The galaxy's high surface brightness makes direct detection fairly easy in my 10-inch Newtonian. Observers with 4.5-inch or smaller instruments should give this galaxy a try.
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Revised: October 18, 2003 [WDF]