|NGC 4189: Galaxy Group (Coma Berenices) RA: 12h 13.8m / DEC: +13° 25'.6|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
Few sights are as awe inspiring as a group of galaxies huddled within a single eyepiece field. Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, is so near and large that it staggers the mind when experienced under a dark sky far from the harsh glare of city lights. Imagine what it would be like to see the Milky Way as a delicate patch of light in an amateur telescope. Imagine a handful of Milky Ways held within the confines of one eyepiece field. It's an experience which mere words fail to adequately describe.
The sketch at left shows four distant galaxies, star cities like the Milky Way, as viewed at 63X in my 10-inch Starfinder Newtonian. NGC 4189 is an 11.7 magnitude spiral galaxy visible near the northern field boundary. It covers a 90" diameter area and is aligned nearly face-on. NGC 4193, 15' due south and similar in size, is a 12.3 magnitude spiral also viewed nearly face-on. NGC 4216 is positioned nearest the east field boundary. This 10.0 magnitude spiral ranges over a 5'x1' area and is viewed nearly edge-on. NGC 4206, 12' to the southwest, is a 12.1 magnitude spiral stretched 4'x0'.5 along a north-south axis. This quartet should not be missed when touring the Virgo-Coma cluster of galaxies.
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Revised: March 1, 2002 [WDF]