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NGC 2207 (4,144 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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The Cosmic Owl (NGC 2207)

NGC 2207, ESO 556-8, LEDA 18749, MCG-04-15-020, SGC 061414-2121.2, UGCA 124, Cosmic Owl, h 3032, GC 1393

RA: 06h 16m 22.1s
Dec: −21° 22′ 20″

Con: Canis Major
Ch: MSA:348, U2:317, SA:19


(reference key)

Type: galaxies (interacting), Sc

Mag: B=11.35, V=10.65

Size: 4.168′ x 2.884′
PA: 141°

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Photos  (1)

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Together with IC 2163 known as the Cosmic Owl.

Historical observations

John Herschel (1847) Cape Observations

Discovered by Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "pB, pL, mE in pos = 87 approx, pslbM, 2.5' long, 40 arcseconds broad, to a tolerably well defined round nucleus."

NGC/IC Dreyer (1888, 1895, 1908)

According to Dreyer, both Howe and Stewart agree that the object is bi-nuclear, surrounded by a faint trace of a ring.

Published comments

Stewart (1908)

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

Table IV: 2 hazy *, surrounded by trace of ring neb., diameter 2'.

Helwan Obs. Bulletin No 15 (1915)

! pF, 3'x2', open spir. (notes: only one of the two stars, the nucleus mentioned in Harvard Annals LX, p 174, is nebulous.)

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 12.0 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads 2S CONT,BOTH KNY SMALL RG AROUND.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975) NGC 2207 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.

This little known southern group in low galactic latitudes has the highest supergalactic latitude of all the nearby groups.

Brightest members: 2207 ( B(0) = 11.54), 2217 ( B(0) = 11.69), 2223 ( B(0) = 12.18), 2280 ( B(0) = 12.24), 2139 ( B(0) = 12.39).

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 2207 Group are NGC 2207, NGC 2217, NGC 2223, NGC 2280 & NGC 2139.

Burnham's Celestial Handbook (1978)

Burnham calls it a 12.3 mag spiral galaxy measuring 2.5' x 1.5', pretty bright, pretty large, much elongated, pretty suddenly a little brighter in the middle with a bright nucleus. He notes that it is either a double galaxy or an interacting pair. The companion is IC 2163.


A supernova erupted in this galaxy in 1975 (14.4v).

Photo index

Photo Index by Jim Lucyk: Galaxies (Ferris,1982) p140.

Modern observations

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

Hartung writes: "This conspicuous hazy elliptical nebula about 3' x 2' in pa 85 deg lies in a field with many scattered stars; it has a well-condensed nucleus which looks elongated preceding. 15cm shows the elliptical shape well."

Tom Lorenzin

Tom Lorenzin, in the electronic version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "12.3M; 2.5'x 1.5' extent; soft oblong with bright nucleus; photos show double galaxy or interacting pair; SP GAL N2196 (12.5M; 2'x 1' extent) is a soft oblong 1 degree to WSW; very small, faint SP GAL N2179 (13.1M; 0.5' diameter) is 1 degree due W of N2196 just E of 6M star (SAO 171251)."

AJ Crayon

AJ Crayon, using an 8" f/6 Newtonian, notes: "a spiral galaxy, is 12m 2'X1', in an easterly position angle at 80x. It is difficult to see because of a bright star in the file, using a hood and jiggling the telescope helps.

Steve Coe

Steve Coe, using a 17.5" f/4.5, notes: "Pretty bright, pretty large, elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 90 and much brighter in the middle at 150X in the 13". There is a 12th mag star just west of the nucleus and the star is involved within the galaxy. IC 2163 is interacting with NGC 2207, it is pretty faint, pretty small, round and not much brighter in the middle. The two galaxies were never seen as two distinct objects even at 220X."

Brian Skiff

& IC 2163

POSS: core of -07 in pa~80, pa105 overall. *ing on ENE could be part of core, but is matched on WSW by sim feature. m14 * 1'.55 NW, m15 * 1'.55 WSW.

Lick: -07 in pa70. I2163 in pa105 from -07.

25cm - interacting pair. elong pa70 (-07), 1'.5x1'. comp is oval, -07 lentic. comp elong in pa110, fntr, smooth. 3'x1'.5 overall. -07 has sm br core.

30cm - interesting. seems elong in pa110 @ 140x. 220x shows a thin core in pa60, halo in pa110. br core w/* or *ing on ENE end of core. halo extensive to E, to 1'.4 radius, where it has a br lump in it about 30" diam. m14 * 1'.2 W of center of the brtr part. 2'.2x1'.2 overall.

Ron Bee (2002)

Internet Amateur Astronomers Catalog (IAAC) post, 3 Feb 2002

Date/time of observation: 02/02/02 8:30pm PST

Location of site: 117h 9m W (Lat 32h 43m N, Elev 2000 ft)

Site classification: Exurban

Sky darkness: 5.2

Seeing: 6, but with good transparency <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>

Instrument: TV-102 (102mm f/8.6 APO refractor)

This is supposed to be one of the colliding galaxies.

Nowhere to be seen at 22x or 30x. Caught a glimpse with my new 12mm Radian at 73x, the Galaxy Grabber, looking like a dim patch at the edge of detection. It's elongated and seemed to be pointing to a group of stars that forms a pyramid shape: SAO 171460, SAO 171464, GSC 5945:2084, SAO 171475, SAO 171475. At 110x, the galaxy is definitely a dim patch, especially with averted vision, elongated and seem to be pointing at the star GSC 5946:1784 instead the pyramid. Overall, extremely dim at the edge of detection. I couldn't detect any "collision" of the galaxies. Later, after some research, I realized why I couldn't see IC 2163 (see photo via link); it was probably part of the NGC 2207 blob through the Light Cup.

Armin Hermann (2004)

Internet Amateur Astronomers Catalog (IAAC) post, 13 Jan 2004

Date/time of observation: 13 Jan 2004

Location of site: Sangkhlaburi, Thailand (Lat 15N, Elev 200m)

Site classification: Exurban

Sky darkness: 5,7

Seeing: 9 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>

Instrument: 15 inch Obsession f4,5

Gx,10,8mag & 12,5mag, 2,5x1' & 2x1', CMa. At 78x the pair looks like one galaxy with a bright western part with a faint extension to the east. At 244x NGC2207 is elongated NW-SE with a bright star-like core and a faint structure-less halo of about 2,5x1'. Its faint connected companion IC 2163 is elongated W E featuring a faint long oval of about 2x0,8'. No obvious core like in NGC 2207. With averted vision IC 2163 shows a patchy feature E of its center. Very nice pair!

Paul Alsing (2006)

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)

NGC 2207 and IC 2163 are 2 interacting spiral galaxies that are framed perfectly by the 5 arc minute FOV, and they were one of most pleasant surprises of the entire weekend. NGC 2207 is fully face-on and has a classical shape, the arms are broad and distinct and easy to see at this aperture, and the spiral structure seems to go all the way into the center. IC 2163, on the other hand, is kind of "eye" shaped and has a showy tidal tail trailing outwards from the pair, but does not reveal much spiral structure in the eyepiece. Perhaps the best pair of the weekend.

Contemporary observations

Magda Streicher

1999 January 18

Galaxy, Canis Major, 6h 16m 4s, -21 22

Telescope: Meade 12-inch - 40mm wide-angle eyepiece.

Date: 18th January 1999.

From the heart of Pietersburg, this faint soft elongated (west to east) haze is just visible. It appears as a soft haze, 4' x 2', with a brighter concentration to the eastern side, giving it a somewhat unbalanced appearance.

Checking up in catalogues show an interaction with IC 2163.

Tom Bryant

2011 3 1 20:24:24

Observing site: Little Bennett Regional Park

Telescope: C-10

[6h 16m 24s, -21 22' 0"] A faint smudge, hardly visible about the bright sky glow. E-W elongation? WikiSky: two colliding spirals! Burnham: Sc.

Richard Ford

2012 February 18, Sat


Time: 20:45.

Sky Conditions: The fainter parts of the Milky Way are barely visible.

Transparency: Haziness only visible on the horizon.

Seeing: Atmosphere stable with little interference.

This strange spiral galaxy's elongated shape is seen well as a mare faint smudge of light at both 57* and 75*.I have found no spiral structure within this galaxy on account that its arms are too faint to observe.From nucleus this galaxy it grows brighter compared to the far outskirts of this galaxy. It measures 4'*1'with PA West-to-East. Challenge Rating: Very Difficult.

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