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IC 4338 (18,372 of 18,816)

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IC 4338

IC 4338

History and Accurate Positions for the NGC/IC Objects (Corwin 2004)

IC 4338 = NGC 5334. Swift has somehow confused NGC 5334 with a new nebula. He has two different dates for it, too (20 April 1897 is probably correct; this appears twice: in the big AN "Catalogue No. 11", and in the shorter second list from Lowe Observatory as published in MNRAS. The PASP version of the list has 30 April 1897).

His description clearly refers to the NGC galaxy, except -- well, read it for yourself (this is the PASP version; that in MNRAS is the same). "vL, eF, C[sic]E n & s; in field with 5334. A F st close to each end of major axis. See note."

His note reads "This is a remarkable object. I have never seen one just like it. It resembles an elliptical planetary nebula. The light is evenly diffused, and the limb sharp as a planet. Strange, Sir William Herschel missed it, being so near his III 665. Munich 9619 is nf 121 seconds."

All this positively identifies NGC 5334 as the object Swift saw. His position, of course, is off in RA (10 seconds of time), though is pretty close in declination (just half an arcminute south). If the star he mentions is SAO 139616 (at 13 52 17.92, -00 51 44.7; actually 118 seconds following the galaxy), then there is no doubt at all.

So, why did he think that WH's nebula was nearby? Is it possible that he picked up UGC 8801, thinking -- because of its higher surface brightness -- that it is H III 665? This is the only other object in the area that Swift might have mistaken for N5334, but it seems a stretch to me.

In any event, the identity of the IC object is certain, as is that of the NGC galaxy -- they are one and the same.

Published comments

Helwan Obs. Bulletin No 21 (1920)

Identical with NGC 5334.

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