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NGC 1566 (2,893 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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NGC 1566

NGC 1566, ESO 157-20, LEDA 14897, SGC 041853-5503.4, Bennett 25, h 2635, GC 844

RA: 04h 20m 0.64s
Dec: −54° 56′ 17″

Con: Dorado
Ch: MSA:458, U2:420, SA:24


(reference key)

Type: galaxy (Seyfert 1)

Mag: B=10.26, V=9.41

Size: 8.511′ x 6.165′
PA: 60°

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Sketches  (1)

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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]

observed by James Dunlop from Paramatta, New South Wales, with a 9-inch f/12 telescope. He described it as "a pretty large round nebula, about 4' diameter, moderately and gradually condensed to the centre. A very small star near the following edge, not involved."

John Herschel

John Herschel recorded it as "B, vL, first very gradually then suddenly much brighter to the middle, to a stellar nucleus. Diameter in RA = 15 seconds. A star 11th mag involved, N.p. gives it a distorted appearance. A curious object." On a second occassion he called it ".pB, L, R, very gradually then pretty suddenly brighter in the middle." He noted that it could be Dunlop 338.

NGC/IC Dreyer (1888, 1895, 1908)

The NGC records the object as "bright, very large, very gradual, very suddenly much brighter to the middle".

Published comments

Stewart (1908) Ann.Harv.Coll.Obs., 60 (6)

Table IV: ! L 2-br spiral.

Reynolds, J.H. (1921)

Reynolds, J.H. (1921) The spiral nebulae in the zone -40° to -90° (from the Franklin-Adams Plates). MNRAS, 81, 598.

p 600: "The following spirals call for special description on account of their size:

Large, bright, S-shaped, with very bright nucleus"

table, p601: 6x3, "! B"

Shapley (1935)

Ann.Harv.Coll.Obs., 88 (5) - Table II, p 110: Size estimate: 7'.

Shapley, H. & Paraskevopoulos, J.S. (1940)

Galactic and Extragalactic Studies, III. Photographs of thirty southern nebulae and clusters. Proc. N.A.S., 26, 31-36.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1956)

"Survey of bright galaxies south of -35° declination", Mem. Mount Stromlo, No. 13. (photographic study, plates taken with the 30-inch Reynolds reflector, 20-inch diaphragm).

Sandage, A. (1975)

(1975(Astrophysical Journal, 202, 563-582) notes that this galaxy is a member of the Dorado Group. Members include NGC 1515, NGC 1533, NGC 1536, NGC 1543, NGC 1546, NGC 1553, NGC 1566, NGC 1574, NGC 1596, NGC 1617 and IC 2056. Possible additional members include NGC 1559, NGC 1602, NGC 1672, NGC 1688, NGC 1703 & NGC 1705

de Vaucouleurs, G. et al. (1991) Third Ref. Cat. of Bright Galaxies (RC3)

This galaxy is listed in the "Third Reference Catalogue of Bright Galaxies" as being a bright Seyfert galaxy. The integrated B magnitude of the stellar system (excluding the nucleus) = 10.35, and the B magnitude of the quasi-stellar nucleus = 13.5-14.5.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975) NGC 1566 group

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.

Part of the Dorado cloud complex (NGC 1566, NGC 1433, NGC 1672 groups).

Brightest members: 1566 ( B(0) = 10.09), 1553 ( B(0) = 10.57), 1549 ( B(0) = 11.05), 1617 ( B(0) = 11.40), 1574 ( B(0) = 11.62).

("Galaxies and the Universe", Chapter 14 - Nearby Groups of Galaxies) notes that the five brightest members of the NGC 1566 group, a part of the Dorado Cloud complex, are NGC 1566, NGC 1553, NGC 1549, NGC 1617 & NGC 1574.

Shobbrook (1966)

(1966, Mon. Not. R. astr. Soc., Vol 131, p351-363) notes that this member of the Dorado Cluster has V = 10.4, B-V = 0.87 and U-B = 0.03. It measures 7.1 by 6.2. He remarks: "The very blue U-B colour is due to an ultraviolet excess in the nucleus."

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

(Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 10.5 mag galaxy.

Photo index

by Jim Lucyk: Sky&Tel. 10/74 p227, Ast.Obj.for South.Tel. (Hartung, 1984), Universe Guide to Stars & Planets (Ridpath & Tirion) p212.

Modern observations

Hartung, E.J. (1968) Astron.Obj.South.Tel

Hartung notes that in a 12-inch telescope the galaxy shows as "a conspicuous ellipse about 3' x 2', rising greatly in brightness to a central nucleus; there is however no sign of the spiral arms. A four-inch shows the nebula clearly in the dark field."

ASV Journal (1971)

ASV Journal Vol 24 No 3 June 1971: "visible in 3-inch 64x."

Brian Skiff

15cm - fine br gx @ 80x. 140x shows spir struc wkly: one arm arcs W then around to N from cen, ending a little beyond V=13.6 * (T&B). other arm goes E then S past m14.2 * (my est). general halo seems to extend as far as V=11.8 * on E, 3:2 ratio. halo has mod broad concen, core suddenly brtr w/mod sharp concen to sub*ar nuc. BS, 11Nov1993, LCO.

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf


A 15.5-inch telescope at 220x shows the galaxy as a bright, diffuse glow, circular, with a definite nucleus. Using averted vision, the galaxy looses its circular shape, and takes on the appearance of an extended oval. There is a small star near the southern tip of the galaxy. The western edge seems clearly marked with a straight-edge.

1997 November 03

1997 November 3/4, Jonkershoek. 11x80 tripod-mounted, seeing 4, transparency 3, darkness 3, lim mag = 6.0 (naked eye, pole) "Seen with some attention, to the south-east of a small star. Like a tiny globular cluster."

1997 November 25

1997 November 25, Jonkershoek. 11x80 tripod-mounted, seeing 4, transparency 3, darkness 3, lim mag = 6.0 (naked eye, pole), very strong SE wind (gale force along the coast) "East-southeast of a star lies this obvious small, globular-cluster like galaxy."

Magda Streicher

(no date)

12-inch f/10 SCT (EP: 2-inch 40mm SW 76x 53' fov; 2-inch 32mm SW 95x 42' fov; 2-inch 14mm UW 218x 23' fov)

The galaxy has a soft, round large and misty appearance slowly getting brighter to the nucleus. Elongated in a northeast to southwest direction with fleecy edges. The centre of the galaxy is noticeably wide so much so that it covers one third of the entire galaxy (218x). An outstanding 8th magnitude star is visible 4' arc minutes west of the galaxy. Herschel referred to it as a curious object.

1997 July 04

Location: Pietersburg South 23o 53. East 29o 28.

Sky conditions: Clear.

Date: 4 Julie 1997.

Field of view: 52.7 arc minutes.

ASSA-DSO - Report J

NGC1566 Mag 9 size 7

Close by, another large dim roundish, patch of light. Rising to a bright nucleus. A star visible to the north in a bare starfield.

Richard Ford

2012 December 16th, Sun



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 looks almost elongated with an East to West elongation which has fairly bright extensions being seen edge on.The nuclues of this galaxy is very condensed and that around the outskirts of this galaxy there is plenty of areas of uneven brightness.This galaxy measures 6.2'x 2'with PA North-to-South.Challenge Rating:Moderately Difficult.Chart:No.115,NSOG,Vol.3.

Favourite lists

Lacaille's catalogue

The Messier objects

Dunlop's catalogue

The Bennett objects

The Caldwell list

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