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NGC 1316 (2,362 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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Fornax A

NGC 1316, Dunlop 548, AM 0320-372, Arp 154, ESO 357-22, LEDA 12651, MCG-06-08-005, Bennett 14, Fornax A, h 2527, GC 697

RA: 03h 22m 41.52s
Dec: −37° 12′ 33.5″

Con: Fornax
Ch: MSA:401, U2:355, SA:18


(reference key)

Type: galaxies (interacting), Sa

Mag: B=9.67, V=8.77

Size: 11.48′ x 7.943′
PA: 50°

Historical observations

Dunlop, James (1828)

Dunlop, J. (1828) A Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars in the Southern Hemisphere, Observed at Paramatta in New South Wales. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc., 118, 113-151. [1828RSPT..118..113D]

James Dunlop discovered this 10th mag galaxy from Paramatta, New South Wales, and included it as No. 548 in his catalogue of 1827. Using a 9-inch f/12 telescope, he described it as "a rather bright, round nebula, about 1.5' diamater, gradually condensed to the centre."

John Herschel

Sir John Herschel observed it at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "very bright; pretty large; slightly elongated; very suddenly very much brighter towards the middle, to a nucleus 2" in diameter." His second observation recorded it as "very bright; very large; 4' diameter; first gradually then very suddenly very much brighter towards the middle to a stellar nucleus."

Published comments

Bailey, S.I. (1908)

"nebula, E 45° 1.5'x0.8', brighter at centre."

Bailey, S.I. (1908) A catalogue of bright stars and nebulae. Ann.Harv.Coll.Obs., 60(8), 199.

Hinks, A.R. (1911)

Hinks, A. R. (1911) On the galactic distribution of gaseous nebulae and of star clusters. MNRAS, 71(8), 693-701.

List 4: "NGC numbers of nebulae probably gaseous, not exceedingly extended" p698

includes NGC 1316, with a footnote: "Classification doubtful. Perhaps spiral."

Helwan Obs. Bulletin No 9 (1912)

vB, pL, an elnogated nucleus surrounded by elongated structureless haze, with a curious waist near the nucleus."

Helwan Obs. Bulletin No 21 (1920)

!! B, 2.5' x 2', lE 55deg, vBN surrounded by structureless nebulosity which fades off into a haze in which there is a 'waist' at 135deg approx. In the haze to the north of the 'waist' are several patches of absorbing matter. See HOB 9 and 15.

Doig, P. (1925)

Doig, P. (1925) Notes on the nebulae and clusters in Webb's 'Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes' (Sixth edition, Vol.ii). Part V. M.N.R.A.S., 36(3), 89.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1956)

"Survey of bright galaxies south of -35° declination", Mem. Mount Stromlo, No. 13. On photos taken with the 30-inch Reynolds reflector, 20-inch diaphragm: bright inner part 4.8' x 3', faint outer regions 6' x 4.2'. Remarks: Pair with NGC 1317 at 6.3'

van den Bergh, S. (1961)

(1961, Astronomical Journal, Vol 66) notes that this galaxy could be a radio source. He remarks: "Dark patches and bright knots. Similar to NGC 1275 and NGC 5128?"

Arp (1966)

Listed as No. 154 in Arp's "Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies" (Astrophysical Journal Supplement, vol. 14, 1966.) He remarks "Fornax A radio source. Short exposure [15 min] to show absorption in centre."

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

(Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 10.5 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads E,L6,B,SLEL,BM.

Sandage, A. (1975)

(1975(Astrophysical Journal, 202, 563-582) notes that this galaxy is a member of the Fornax Cluster. Members include NGC 1316, NGC 1317, NGC 1326 & NGC 1399.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975)

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.

Fornax I Cluster.

NGC 1316 and NGC 1365 possibly foreground?

Brightest members: NGC 1399 ( B(0) = 11.15), NGC 1380 ( B(0) = 11.30), NGC 1404 ( B(0) = 11.34), NGC 1326 ( B(0) = 11.75), NGC 1350 ( B(0) = 11.80).

("Galaxies and the Universe", Chapter 14 - Nearby Groups of Galaxies) notes that the five brightest members of the Fornax I Group are NGC 1399, NGC 1380, NGC 1404, NGC 1326 & NGC 1350. He notes that NGC 1316 and NGC 1365 are possibly in the foreground.

p 590: "The present data on nearby groups may nevertheless help to answer the simpler question:Are there isolated galaxies? ... out of the 60 galaxies in this objectively selected sample, only eight have not been associated with one of the 55 nearby groups, viz. NGC 404, NGC 1313, NGC 2903, NGC 3109, NGC 3521, NGC 6744, NGC 6946 & IC 5152. In addition there is a possibility that a few galaxies, such as NGC 1316, NGC 4594, NGC 4826 are not really members of the groups (For I, Vir Y, CVn I) to which they have been tentatively assigned. Furthermore, the reality of the NGC 5128 chain as a physical unit may be questionable; but then it is difficult to know where to stop in this 'dismemberment' of loose groups, and the local outcome of an overconservative attitude would be to exclude from consideration all but a few rich clusters and dense groups... on the other hand, several of the eight supposedly isolated galaxies might yupon further investigation turn out to be members of some of the nearer groups; in particular, NGC 404, NGC 3109 and IC 1512 should be examined for possible membership in the Local Group. Other (more remote) possibilities are NGC 1569, IC 342 and perhaps some heavily obscured systems as yet unrecognized. For example, IC 10, although long suspected, was only recently established as a Local Group member (Roberts 1962, de Vaucouleurs and Ables 1965). ... to the writer's knowledge, NGC 1313 and NGC 6744 in the southern sky, and probably NGC 2903 and NGC 6946 in the northern sky, are truly isolated galaxies not associated with any nearby group, although both are in the larger Local Supercluster."


Two supernovae erupted in this galaxy; 1980 (12.6v), 1981 (12.7v).

Photo index

by Jim Lucyk: Sky&Tel. 2/81 p109, Sky&Tel. 4/79 p359, Sky&Tel. 4/81 p302, Burnhams V2 p902, Cat.of South.Peculiar Gal.and Ass. Vol 2 (Arp&Madore, 1987) p22.2.

Modern observations

Tom Lorenzin

Tom Lorenzin, in the electronic version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "10.1M; 3.5'x 2.5' extent; bright ellipse with very much brighter center and stellar core; 10' to NNE is SP GAL N1317 (12M; 2' diameter) soft, small, and difficult in low S sky; 50' to NNE is SP GAL N1326 (11.5M; 3' diameter) soft patch with brighter center; all of these are more easily viewed from S Florida or Costa Rica"

Steve Coe

Steve Coe, observing with a 13" f/5.6, notes: "Pretty bright, large, elongated 1.2 X 1 in PA 75, very suddenly very much brighter in the middle with an almost stellar nucleus. There are three levels of brightening at 135X."

AJ Crayon

AJ Crayon, using an 8" f/6 Newtonian, notes: "is a barred spiral galaxy. It is 5'x4' 10m, has a little brighter middle, NGC 1317 is 5' north and no other objects seen in field, at 100X."

Steve Gottlieb

03 22.7 -37 12

17.5: very bright, moderately large, elongated 3:2 SW-NE, about 2.5'x1.5'. Dominated by an intense 40"x30" core which brightens to a non-stellar nucleus. Forms a pair with N1317 6.3' N.

8: bright, round, slightly elongated, small bright core. Forms a pair with N1317 7' N.

Brian Skiff

POSS: pa50. * E buried in halo.

RC2: N1317 6'.3 N.

ESO: pa50.

T&B: * SW V=12.9.

6cm - visible.

15cm - vbr gx w/vbr core @ 80x. 140x: 5'x2'.5 elong NE-SW, reaching 3/4 way to

m13.5 * SW on maj axis. halo has even concen, then core much brtr with

strong sharp concen to 5" circ nuc. core 40"x30". hisfc in core/nuc.

BS, 17Nov1993, LCO.

30cm - 149x: vbr w/lg br nuc. 238x: 2'.5x1'.5 w/br 40" core and brtr non*ar

nuc. elong in pa50. E 1' is m14.5 *.

Danie L. Cronje


Danie Cronje, observing with 10x50 binoculars, calls it "quite bright . . . easy to find - in nice little asterism of stars. Faint but can be seen directly. Looks like a slightly fuzzy star when viewed directly. With averted: glow expands with brighter core. Elongated?"

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf


Observing from the 1500 metre plateau of the SAAO observing site in Sutherland, this galaxy is easily visible in 11x80's. It is seen in a field sprinkled with many stars as a reasonably bright nebulous patch.

1997 September 02

1997 Sept 02, Die Boord, 11x80 tripod mounted. Seeing average-good. Like an extended 9th mag star, smaller than 1 arc min. Rating: difficult.

1997 November 29

1997 November 29/30, Sat/Sun: Jonkershoek, seeing 3, transparency 3, sky darkness 4, lim.mag. at south pole 6.0 (naked eye), 10.7 (binoculars at pole) Strong SE wind. "Readily seen as a round, 30 arcsec, non-stellar glow."

2004 March 20

2004 March 20, 22:00 Paradyskloof Rifle Range. Seeing average, light pollution.

An almost point-like dimness that grows with averted vision to a round glow, set in a field that, tonight, is a pale gray in 11x80 binoculars. Reasonably difficult to pick up, I think it would be all but impossible to see it without a chart. The limiting magnitude tonight is 10.3 toward the south, and probably around 9 in the region of NGC 1316, which is setting into the glow of Cape Town. With averted vision, the galaxy appears 2-3 arcmin across. [This size estimate is based on the two ~9th mag stars closest due west of it - HIP 15839 & HIP15836 - separated by 6'48". At times, is appears as if the galaxy glows large enough to half-fill the gap between these stars (ie just over 3 arcmin) and it seems that the smallest reasonable size is one-third, or just over 2 arcmin.

To say that NGC 1365 nearby was visible, would be exaggerating.

2007 April 15

Sutherland (Ouberg Quarry)

11x80 tripod mounted binoculars

Conditions: NELM: fainter than 6.0 at the S.pole

Small (6.5'), moderately bright round glow, growing much brighter to the middle. With averted vision has a stellar nucleus (7.2 V). Obvious triangle of 79 mag stars 20' due east (of which HD 21341 is the brightest member, and also the brightest star in the sketch). Used Uranometria chart 268 to locate the galaxy. Magnitude estimated from nearby star A = HD 21208 (7.6V); size from (A-B = HD 21208-HD21221 = 6.8').

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)

NGC 1316 is a relatively bright galaxy, with a nucleus getting slowly brighter to a star-like dense core. The galaxy resembles in a way the characteristics of a globular cluster (218x). Slightly elongated northeast to southwest aligned with a few stars forming an asterism about 14' arc minutes to the east. The smaller NGC 1317, 11th magnitude, and 6' arc minutes to the north is smaller but appears bright towards the centre and slightly round in shape (346x). A few faint stars between the two galaxies connect the pair beautifully. NGC 1310 and a field star situated twenty arc minutes to the west, but cannot confirm.

Tom Bryant

2010 11 6 23:36:40

Observing site: Fall Star Party

Telescope: C-11

[3h 22m 42s, -37 12' 0"] A bright nucleus surrounded by a faint halo Sa or Sb? A pair with 1317. Nice. Wikipedia: Elliptical, AKA Fornax A, active nucleus.

Richard Ford

2013 January 12th Sat



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 very faint extensions which is somewhat oval and elongated.The nucleus of this galaxy is very condensed at 75x and that this galaxy looks almost like an out of focus baked bean.No areas of uneven brightness is noticed around this galaxy.This galaxy measures 3.1'x 0.7'with P.A: NE/SW.

Chart No.200, NSOG Vol.1.

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