|NGC 891: Edge-on Spiral Galaxy (Andromeda) RA: 02h 22.6m / DEC: +42° 21'.1|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
NGC 891 is an elusive edge-on galaxy in Andromeda. It has a total visual magnitude of 9.9 but a moderately low 22.4 magnitude per square arc second surface brightness. NGC 891 is often detectable in moderate aperture, but only when observing conditions are at their best will this galaxy show detail. My drawing was made at 63X when seeing and transparency conspired to offer a fabulous view in the 10-inch Starfinder Newtonian. The galaxy is spread over a 12'x2' area with a dark dust lane visible across the central portion. The bright star to the northwest shines at 9th magnitude. NGC 891 can be found 3.4 degrees east of 2.1 magnitude Almach.
|Instrument: 18-inch Obsession|
The above observation was made in August 1995. More than a decade later, I turned my 18-inch Obsession to this enigmatic galaxy and made the observation presented at left. At 141X, NGC 891 covers an 11' by 1'.5 area. The central bulge is somewhat brighter than the tapering disk. The ends of the disk appear rounded, not sharply defined as in some edge-on spirals. A slender dark lane bisects the galaxy and can be traced from the center about halfway toward each end of the disk. About 60 stars dot the field, an indication of NGC 891's location along the edge of the winter Milky Way. Viewing this stellar metropolis through the intervening dust of the Milky Way, NGC 891 is fainter than if it were stationed in a spring constellation close to the North Galactic Pole. Nevertheless, under a dark sky with moderate aperture, NGC 891 is a fine sight for the deep-sky enthusiast.
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Revised: November 26, 2005 [WDF]