Herschel 400 Objects

NGC 6445: Planetary Nebula (Sagittarius) RA: 17h 49.3m / DEC: -20° 00'.6
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder

As planetary nebulae go NGC 6445 isn't the largest or brightest, but it does reveal surprising structure in moderate aperture at high magnification. The sketch at left renders a 190X view in my 10-inch, f/4.5 Newtonian. NGC 6445 is paired with a fine stellar duo at the center of my drawing. The stars weigh in at 7.6 magnitude and 10.5 magnitude, respectively. They're separated by just 38" and stand 5' due east of the plantetary. With a photographic magnitude of 13.2, NGC 6445 probably at least one full magnitude brighter in the visible portion of the spectrum. At first, it appears as a nondescript 45"x30" glow. But after careful study over several minutes, the nebula's bi-polar structure and rectangular form emerge. NGC 6445's lobes are aligned roughly north-northwest to south-southeast with a gap visibly separating the two components. In addition to the pair already mentioned, 18 stars dot the field to frame the view. Before departing this neck of the cosmos, slew over to NGC 6440 about 21' to the south.

NGC 6440 NGC 6451


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