|NGC 4565: Edge-on Spiral Galaxy (Coma Berenices) RA: 12h 36.3m / DEC: +25° 59'.1|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
NGC 4565 is arguably the most impressive edge-on spiral galaxy in the firmament. It is a must see for observers with any telescope. NGC 4565 stands along the eastern edge of the Coma Berenices star cluster. You'll find it about 3 degrees southeast of 4.4 magnitude Gamma (15) Comae Berenices. 5.3 magnitude 17 Comae Berenices shines 1.7 degrees due west. 9.1 magnitude HD 109718 marks the field, just 7' south of the galaxy. NGC 4565 extends fully 14' in length when viewed at 82X in my 10-inch Newtonian. The galaxy's nucleus appears as a 2' thick oval bulge. The dark lane can be traced 5' on either side of the nuclear region. Close inspection of he outer reaches of the galactic disk reveals delicate mottling. Simply put, NGC 4565 is a showpiece of the spring sky. If you'd like to observe a miniature version, seek out NGC 5746.
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Revised: January 21, 2003 [WDF]