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NGC 2442 (4,735 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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NGC 2442

NGC 2442, NGC 2443, ESO 59-8, LEDA 21373, SGC 073633-6925.0, h 3097, GC 1568

RA: 07h 36m 23.9s
Dec: −69° 31′ 47″

Con: Volans
Ch: MSA:493, U2:446, SA:24


(reference key)

Type: galaxy (AGN LINER-type), SBbc

Mag: B=11.16, V=?

Size: 4.168′ x 3.89′
PA: ?

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a.k.a. Meathook Galaxy

History and Accurate Positions for the NGC/IC Objects (Corwin 2004)

NGC 2442 and NGC 2443 are the southwest and northeast parts of a large, bright galaxy observed four times by JH. The last three times, he described it as a single large nebula, and measured a position for it that agrees very well with the modern position. His first observation, however, makes it "A double nebula, vF, vL, PA of centers = 40 deg, diameters 4' and 3' running together, and having a star 13 mag at their junction." This is the interpretation that he adopted for the GC, and that Dreyer used in the NGC. The "double star" that JH noted during one observation is the nucleus and a superposed star (or a compact HII region).

In the main table, I've given the position of the nucleus under both numbers, and have also given positions for the approximate centers of the two halves of the galaxy.

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. His discovery observation was recorded as "A double nebula; very large; very faint; position of centres = 40 degrees; diameter 4' and 3' running together, and having a star 13th magnitude at their junction." He subsequently made three further observations, after which he commented: "N.B. In these three last observations the nature of the object appears to have been misapprehended. In [the first sweep] it was evidently better seen and more satisfactorily made out." These three observations were as follows: "Faint, very large, much elongated, first gradually then pretty suddenly much brighter to the middle", "extremely faint, very large, pretty much elongated, has a coarse double star (13 and 16 mag dist = 12 arcsec) in middle." and "faint, very large, much elongated, very suddenly a little brighter to the middle, to a star 13th mag, like a very faint atmosphere, about a nucleus 3.5' long, 1.5' broad; pos of its extension = 39.8 . I think it has some sort of hooked appendage."

Published comments

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

Table IV: D, vF, vL, 2 * inv in vL sp.neb. 2443 included.

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:

S-shaped, irregular"

table, p601: 6x3, pa 39, "B irr., S type"

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 2442 ! ! F. 2 arms 6' 39 cFN.

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.

Sanford (1989) Observing the Constellations

Sanford notes it as an "face-on barred spiral with low surface brightness, whose arms can begin to be glimpsed in a 12-inch."

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).

Shobbrook (1966)

, Mon. Not. R. astr. Soc., Vol 131, p351-363) notes that this field galaxy to the Dorado Cluster has V = 11.64, B-V = 1.00 and U-B = 0.32. It measures 5.1 by 4.4. He remarks: " .. the U-B colours are evidently peculiar, and since there is a small bright nucleus, this galaxy may be a Seyfert or other emission type."

Paturel et al. (1991)

Paturel, G., Petit, C., Kogoshvili, N. et al. (1991) An extragalactic data base. IV. Errors and misprints in catalogues of galaxies. Astrophys.J.Suppl.Ser., 91(3), 371.

NGC 2442 = NGC 2443

Ryder & Dopita (1993)

Included in the CCD-atlas of Ryder S.D. & Dopita M.A. (1993) "An H-alpha Atlas of Nearby Southern Spiral Galaxies" Astrophys.J.Suppl. 88, 415. They note: "Dust is the dominant feature in this galaxy, in addition to its small bulge, short bar and asymmetric arms. A lot of confusion is due to our viewing angle, but even that is not well determined - is it nearly face-on, with the northern arm tightly wrapped; or more edge-on with a warped southern arm? Based on the geometry of its bright arms and dark dust lanes, de Vaucouleurs favors a lower inclination of about 30 degrees and argues that the southeastern side is nearest to us . . The object NGC 2443 is listed as lying 1' south of the nucleus of NGC 2442, although Sulentic and Tifft consider it to be nonexistent. The amorphous patch tucked just inside the southern arm, which has H II regions associated with it, may in fact be the cause or perhaps the result of an interaction."

Photo index

by Jim Lucyk: Sky&Tel. 5/88 p478, Astronomy mag. 5/85 p22, Universe Guide to Stars & Planets (Ridpath & Tirion) p254.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 11.0 mag galaxy.

Modern observations

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

Hartung writes that Herschels 'hooked appendage' "was in fact the brighter of two arms from opposite ends" of the galaxy. He adds: "A 12-inch shows a diffuse rather faint elliptical haze 3' x 1.5' in pa about 45 with an excentric nucleus, and from each end very faint extensions may be seen, that from N.f. towards N.p. being somewhat brighter. A four-inch shows a faint ellipse in a starry field."

ASV Journal (1971)

ASV Journal Vol 24 No 3 June 1971: "faint, barred spiral in 5-inch."

Brian Skiff

QBS: SAB(rs)cd II [BS]. * nr center (15cm) prob = nuc itself. E59-G11 is 9'.9 NE.

SGC: SAB(s)bc I-II pec

T&B: no m13 * NE side of core.

15cm - 30' due S of m6.5 * nr -34. much lgr & brtr than -34. 5'x1'.8 in pa45. lentic w/rounded ends. m13 * sup NE edge of ill-def circ 45" core. immed beyond this NE is dk band intruding from WSW, nrly severing NE tip, which occas looks like comp of dbl gx. modlosfcbr, mod broad concen overall. BS, 16Feb1990, LCO.

Steve Gottlieb

Southern galaxies from Australia

[amastro] posting, Apr 30, 2008

07 36 23.9 -69 31 48

V = 10.4; Size 5.5x4.9; Surf Br = 13.9

24" (4/4/08): I was amazed how prominent the sweeping spiral arms appeared at 260x giving a stunning "S" appearance. The main bar of the galaxy is fairly bright and extended ~2:1 in a SW to NE orientation with a length of ~3'. The bar has just a weak, broad concentration with no real core but it rises sharply at the center to a very small, brighter nucleus. The main arm is attached at the NE end of the bar and extends a short distance in that direction before dramatically bending sharply to the west (turning nearly 150) and extending ~3.5' in length towards a mag 12.9 star. At the NW end this well-defined arm fades and broadens a little, terminating just SE of the 13th magnitude star. At the SW end of the bar, a thick arm emerges extending to the SW where it more gently curves around towards the east while fanning out. This arm is not as sharply defined as the inside (east) portion of the curve blends with a diffuse glow extending from the bar. The total distance between the tips of the arms spans nearly 5'. In the same field, 10' ENE, lies ESO 59-11 and N2534 is 16' NNW. The field also includes a number of mag 9 to 11 stars that frame the galaxy.

Contemporary observations

Magda Streicher

19 Jan 2009


RA: 07h36m19s DEC: -69o31"31" - Magnitude: 11.2 Size: 6'x5'

Tel: 12" 128x 462x - Date: 19 Jan 2009 - Visibility: Very good 5.8

With averted vision NGC 2442 displays its famous "S" shape with no doubt in my mind. The long brighter bar, fayed out to both ends with the shorter part towards the NW. The other end of the spiral arm SE is more extended. Higher power reveals dark patches on the surface with more haze around the edges. A string of three prominent stars taper down to galaxy is situated on the NE side of the galaxy. It was quite easy to spot NGC 2432 as a soft oval mist 12' towards the NN-W of NGC 2442.

1 Jan 2008

NGC: 2442 - VOLANS


RA: 07h36m19s - DEC: -69o31'31"

Magnitude: 11.2 Size: 6'x5'

Tel: 12" S/C 76x - 218x - 346x Date: 1 Jan 2008 Site: Alldays - good

Add: Always a nice galaxy to explore. This time around seeing to the best conditions (6.2 visibility) I detect a wisp off light curl out from the nucleus and extended with a swing towards the NW side. This can only be part of the spiral arm. The nucleus appears fat and quite outstanding. String of three bright stars extends towards the SE from the galaxy southern edge. Follow the faint stars north from the galaxy I spy the faint round smutch of NGC 2434.

(no date)

Alldays (22.50S, 20.12E, 770m).

12-inch f/10 SCT (218x, 346x)

Brightens slowly to a nice brighter nucleus. Very smooth with a distorted patch of nebulosity to the north tip on the north west side. Pick up a small patch just a soft glow in the north east of the field of view (NGC 2434). Nice triangle stars to the north outside this galaxy. Appears as a reasonably circular patch.

Richard Ford

2011 March, 5th Saturday

Location:Night Sky,Bonnievale.

Instrument:12-inch Dobsonian Reflector Telescope.

Sky Conditions:Whole Milky Way is visible.

Transparency of the Sky:The sky is clean.

Seeing:Atmosphere is stable with little interference.

Limiting Magnitude:Magnitude 6.

NGC 2442


Object Type:Galaxy.

First Impression:This object looks like a galaxy.


Chart Number:No.20(Extract taken out of "Atlas of the Night Sky").

Size:26mm Super Wide Field Eyepiece:Field Of View:57'/9=6.3'.

20mm Ultra Wide Angle Eyepiece:Field Of View:50'/8=6.2'.



Size in Arc Minutes:6.2'.


Major Axis:6.2'.


Minor Axis:1.5'.

Galaxy is 6.2'*1.5'.

Brightness:Magnitude 11.2.

Brightness Profile:Right from the far outskirts the nucleus of this galaxy becomes brighter.

Challenge Rating:Very Difficult.



The galactic nucleus of this galaxy is oval and well defined.There is some slight spiral structure in this galaxy.On the other hand this galaxy looks like a faint smudge of light at 75*.On the contrary some faint spiral arms of this galaxy is almost seen edge on.Around the outskirts of this galaxy some darker areas are observed.

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