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NGC 1232 (2,215 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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NGC 1232

NGC 1232, AGC 22364, Arp 41, ESO 547-14, LEDA 11819, MCG-04-08-032, SGC 030730-2046.1, Bennett 10a, II 258, h 2509, GC 651

RA: 03h 09m 45.44s
Dec: −20° 34′ 44.6″

Con: Eridanus
Ch: MSA:333, U2:311, SA:18


(reference key)

Type: galaxies (interacting), Sc

Mag: B=10.65, V=9.87

Size: 6.025′ x 4.897′
PA: 108°

Historical observations

William Herschel (c.1784)

Synonyms: H II-258

Discovered in 1784 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He called it "F, vL, lbM, R, 7 or 8' diameter."

John Herschel

John Herschel observed it on several occasions at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it the first time as "pretty bright; very large; round; gradually brighter to the middle; 4' diameter." His second description reads: "bright; very large; round; mottled; 3' diameter; first very gradually then pretty suddenly brighter towards the middle. With the left eye I see it mottled. (N.B. This is no doubt a distant globular cluster.)" The final record of this object reads: "pretty bright; large; round; very gradually much brighter to the middle; 4' diameter."

Published comments

Photo index

by Jim Lucyk: Sky&Tel. 1/70 p22, Sky&Tel. 2/81 p102, Sky&Tel.4/83 (cover), Deep Sky #9 Wi84 p23, Burnhams V2 p892, Hubble Atl.of Gal. (Sandage 1961) p32, Rev.Shapley-Ames Cat.of Bright Gal. (Sandage,Tammann 1981) p99, Galaxies (Hodge,1986) p47.

Sandage & Tammann (1975)

Sandage, A. & Tammann, G. A. (1975) Steps toward the Hubble constant. V - The Hubble constant from nearby galaxies and the regularity of the local velocity field. ApJ, 196, 313-328. [1975ApJ...196..313S]

Includes this galaxy in the Eridanus Group. Members include NGC 1187, NGC 1201, NGC 1232, NGC 1255, NGC 1297, NGC 1300, NGC 1302, NGC 1325, NGC 1325A, NGC 1331, NGC 1332, NGC 1353, NGC 1359, NGC 1371, NGC 1385, NGC 1395, NGC 1398, NGC 1407, NGC 1415, NGC 1426, NGC 1439 & IC 1953.

Sandage, A. (1961) The Hubble Atlas of Galaxies

This galaxy appears on page 32 of "The Hubble Atlas of Galaxies" by Allan Sandage (1961, Washington, DC).

Arp (1966)

Listed as No. 41 in Arp's "Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies" (Astrophysical Journal Supplement, vol. 14, 1966.) He remarks "Companion spiral wound in same sense as parent. Note split of companion's arm further into centre."

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 10.5 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads SC,BM,VKN,WDARMS,DIF DKLNS.

Hardcastle, J.A. (1914)

Hardcastle, J.A. (1914) Nebulae seen on the Franklin-Adams plates. MNRAS, 74(8), 699-707. [commentary in Shapley, H. & Ames, A. (1932) A survey of the external galaxies brighter than the thirteenth magnitude.]

The following have not, I believe, been described before: - NGC 1232 R. BN. 6' 2 arms.

Helwan Obs. Bulletin No 30 (1924)

!! pB, 7'x7', open spiral, B stell.N., many branches with alm.stell. condensations.

Helwan Obs. Bulletin No 38 (1935)

Confirms HOB 30.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975) Eridanus Cloud

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975) Nearby groups of galaxies. In: Kuiper, G. (ed) Stars and Stellar Systems. Volume 9: Galaxies and the Universe. Chapter 14, p557.

Includes NGC 1209 and NGC 1332 groups.

Brightest members: 1232 ( B(0) = 10.73), 1398 ( B(0) = 10.73), 1187 ( B(0) = 11.21), 1300 ( B(0) = 11.34), 1407 ( B(0) = 11.43).

("Galaxies and the Universe", Chapter 14 - Nearby Groups of Galaxies) notes that the Eridanus Cloud includes the NGC 1209 and NGC 1332 groups. The five brightest members of the Eridanus Group are NGC 1232, NGC 1398, NGC 1187, NGC 1300 & NGC 1407.

Modern observations

Steve Coe

Steve Coe, observing with a 13" f/5.6, notes: "Pretty faint, pretty large, round and much brighter in the middle at 100X. Low surface brightness makes this object disappear at 135X. This face-on galaxy responds to the quality of the evening quite a bit. The observation above was from a fair night that I rated 6 out of 10 for transparency. On much better evening at a much better observing site, my notes on NGC 1232 are: Bright, Large and much brighter in the middle at 100X. Going to 165X makes the arms appear very mottled and two H II regions in the arms can be spotted. This observation was made on a night I rated 8/10."

Walter Scott Houston

Houston writes: "Another gem is NGC 1232, some 3 degrees southwest of NGC 1300. This spiral is a bit brighter and larger, but I do not know of anyone seeing detailed structure with telescopes smaller than 12 inches. .. it is about as bright as NGC 1300 and also visible in a 4-inch scope. It is a rather featureless elliptical galaxy with an oval disk about 4' long. Although there is no pronounced central brightening, the edges are distinctly fuzzy at 200x" He calls NGC 1232 an "easy 10th mag object, appearing nearly circular and about 7' diameter."

Tom Lorenzin

Tom Lorenzin, in the electronic version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "10.7M; 7' diameter; multi-armed spiral; bright, large and round with little brighter center; photo at HAG-32."

Steve Gottlieb

03 09.8 -20 35

17.5: bright, large, slightly elongated, bright core, very large faint halo. Located 8' WSW of mag 8.6 SAO 168347.

13: large, large bright core, substellar nucleus, very diffuse outer halo. An arm is suspected attached at the W end and winding towards the E on the N side of the core.

Paul Alsing

82-inch at McDonald - Observing Report

[amastro] posting, Sat Nov 25, 2006

82" telescope, McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, Texas, USA

f/13.7, 35mm Televue Panoptic (5' fov, 812x)

Textbook face-on spiral, this is the object that graces the cover of Skiff & Lugenbuhl's Observing Handbook. It has a large arm that sticks out like a cowlick and wraps around to the north, and opposite this is NGC 1232A, a companion galaxy that looks, in real time, like it might be an H-II knot.

Contemporary observations

Magda Streicher

(no date)

12-inch f/10 SCT (EP: 2-inch 40mm SW 76x 53' fov; 2-inch 14mm UW 218x 23' fov; 2-inch 8.8mm UW 346x 15' fov)

A relatively large, round bright patch of light. Nebulosity can be detected around the small stellar nucleus. This open spiral galaxy displays an uneven disc with low surface brightness (218x and 346x). About 6'.6 arc minutes to the eastern side a yellow to orange star can be detected which is outstanding to a very bare star-field. I could not confirm NGC 1232A, which is situated a few arc minutes on the eastern side of NGC1232.

Tom Bryant

2007-01-17 22:00:00

Observing site: Pinnacles overlook

Telescope: C-8

[3h 9m 48s, -20 35' 0"] Looked like a spiral. It was mottled, with a faint nucleus. Burnham lists it as an Sc.

Richard Ford

2015, Saturday, 17th



Sky Conditions:The fainter parts of the Milky Way are barely visible.Haziness only visible on the horizon.Atmosphere stable with little interference.

Instrument:12-inch Dobsonian.

This galaxy has a somewhat oval and well defined galactic nucleus with extremely faint extensions all over this galaxy which is just visible at 75x. Around the outskirts of this galaxy there are some areas of uneven brightness being seen. This galaxy measures 4.7'x 3.6'. Chart No:180,NSOG Vol.1.

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