sponsored by psychohistorian.org


Deep Sky Observer's Companion – the online database


Welcome, guest!

If you've already registered, please log in,

or register an observer profile for added functionality.


log in to manage your observing lists























Full database:

Entire DOCdb database of 18,816 objects.



NGC 1617 (3,001 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




finder chart

altitude today

altitude (year)


½°, , in DOCdb

Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/yivumoo/public_html/show_object.php on line 167

show browsing

NGC 1617

NGC 1617, AM 0430-544, ESO 157-41, LEDA 15405, SGC 043033-5442.4, Bennett 25a, h 2651, GC 875

RA: 04h 31m 39.4s
Dec: −54° 36′ 6″

Con: Dorado
Ch: MSA:457, U2:421, SA:24


(reference key)

Type: galaxy, Sa

Mag: B=11.21, V=10.26

Size: 4.897′ x 2.344′
PA: 107°

Image gallery

Sketches  (1)

Select a sketch and click the button to view

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]

Herschel notes that this object could be Dunlop 339, which was observed by James Dunlop from Paramatta, New South Wales, using a 9-inch f/12 telescope. He described it as "a small round pretty well defined nebula, bright in the centre, N.p. Alpha Doradus."

John Herschel

John Herschel recorded it as "pB, L, mE, sbM, 3' long, 2' broad, pos. 105.8 degrees." On a second occassion he called it "B, L, mE, frist very gradually then very suddenly much brighter to the middle to a nucleus 5 arcseconds in diameter; 3' long, 1' broad." Herschel notes that this object could be Dunlop 339.

Published comments

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.

Table, p601. 3x1.5, pa 80, "pB"

Shapley (1935)

Ann.Harv.Coll.Obs., 88 (5) - Table II, p 110: Size estimate: 4', 105°.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1956)

De Vaucouleurs (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).

The NGC records it as "bright, large, much elongated in PA 106 , very gradual, very suddenly much brighter to the middle to a nucleus measuring 5 arc seconds".

Sandage (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

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 12.0 mag galaxy.

Shobbrook (1966)

Shobbrook (1966, Mon. Not. R. astr. Soc., Vol 131, p351-363) notes that this member of the Dorado Cluster has V = 10.73, B-V = 0.93 and U-B = 0.45. It measures 3.0 by 1.6.

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).

Sandage, A. et al. (1975) Galaxies and the Universe

G. de Vaucouleurs ("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.

Modern observations

Bahr-Vollrath, Gerd (1992)

Gerd Bahr-Vollrath (Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia) writes in The Webb Society Nebulae and Clusters Section Report No. 11, January 1993: "A fairly large and bright spindle with a prominent, almost stellar nucleus. No other structure visible. (8-inch f/12 SCT)"

ASV Journal (1971)

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

Brian Skiff

15cm - br @ 80x w/sharp nuc consp. 140x: 2'.75x1'.25 in pa105 w/strong broad

concen except sharply brtr circ sub*ar nuc. m15 * sup in E side S of

maj axis, halo extends past this *---it is 3/4 way out from cen. BS,

11Nov1993, LCO.

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf


Observing with 15.5-inch at 220x, this galaxy has a small nucleus, elongated west-east. The nucleus is sudden. Most of the nebulosity lies to the north of this nucleus. The brightest part of the nucleus is oval in shape.

1997 November 03

1997 November 3/4, Jonkershoek. 11x80 tripod-mounted, seeing 4, transparency 3, darkness 3, lim mag = 6.0 (naked eye, pole) "Not seen. Several small stars seen, not shown on the Uranometrias, but no definite galaxy."

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) "Very perhaps imagined on two occassions; stars fainter than 9 seen."

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)

Soft elongated east west, which slowly brightens to a star-like centre. Rather misty outskirts without some visible surface character. The eastern edge appears very misty (218x). IC 2085 in the north with a magnitude of 14 could not be confirmed. Alpha Doradus is situated 32' arc minutes to the southeast.

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

NGC 1617 Mag 10 size 4

Small, faint, round, very bright starlike galaxy surrounds in haziness. Few dim stars in the field.

Richard Ford

2013 April, 13th Saturday



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 uniform fairly long extensions on both sides of this galaxy which is elongated and well defined.This galaxy is also seen as an out of focus pale grey smudge of faint light at 75x.The nucleus of this galaxy is moderately condensed and the central nucleus is brighter compared to the extensions of this galaxy.Towards the outskirts of this galaxy there are some areas of uneven brightness.This galaxy measures 4.3'x3'with P.A:WNW/ESE.

Favourite lists

Lacaille's catalogue

The Messier objects

Dunlop's catalogue

The Bennett objects

The Caldwell list

Named DSOs

Object search

First search phrase


Second search phrase

Type of object to include:

open cluster
globular cluster
planetary nebula
bright nebula
dark nebula
galaxy cluster
asterism & stars

The Bug Report

DOCdb is still in beta-release.

Known issues, feature requests, and updates on bug fixes, are here:

> Bug Report


Found a bug? Have a comment or suggestion to improve DOCdb? Please let us know!

> Contact us


DOCdb is a free online resource that exists to promote deep sky observing.

You could help by sharing your observations, writing an article, digitizing and proof-reading historical material, and more.

> Find out more

Everything on DOCdb.net is © 2004-2010 by Auke Slotegraaf, unless stated otherwise or if you can prove you have divine permission to use it. Before using material published here, please consult the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.5 License. Some material on DOCdb is copyright the individual authors. If in doubt, don't reproduce. And that goes for having children, too. Please note that the recommended browser for DOCdb is Firefox 3.x. You may also get good results with K-Meleon. Good luck if you're using IE. A successful experience with other browsers, including Opera and Safari, may vary.