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 254 (521 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 254

NGC 254, AM 0045-314, ESO 411-15, LEDA 2778, MCG-05-03-005, SGC 004502-3141.6, h 2347, GC 140

RA: 00h 47m 27.5s
Dec: −31° 25′ 19″

Con: Sculptor
Ch: MSA:386, U2:351, SA:18


(reference key)

Type: galaxy, S0

Mag: B=12.7, V=11.82

Size: 2.63′ x 1.621′
PA: 137°

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 "vB, R, gmbM, 40 arcseconds, has a star 8th mag 5' distant." On a second occassion he called it "vB, S, pmE, smbM, has a star 9th mag 5' distant Nf." His third observation was recorded as "B, pS, lE, vsvmbM, has a star 7th mag 5' distant Nf."

Published comments

Helwan Obs. Bulletin No 22 (1921)

F, 1.25' x 0.5', E 135 deg, B stell N. in a F structureless oval disc, slightly brighter along its major axis, 10 other small nebulae in field.

ESO/Upps (Lauberts 1982)

The ESO/Uppsala Survey of the ESO(B) Atlas remarks: "Brightest and largest in cluster." The magnitude is given as 12.70.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975) NGC 134 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.

This group is close to the south galactic pole and in the vacant centre of the much nearer Sculptor group.

Brightest members: 134 ( B(0) = 11.22), 289 ( B(0) = 11.92), 150 ( B(0) = 12.34), 148 ( B(0) = 12.95), 254 ( B(0) = 12.97).

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 134 Group are NGC 134, NGC 289, NGC 150, NGC 148 & NGC 254.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 13.0 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads SLEL,BM,.

Modern observations

Steve Coe

Steve Coe, observing with a 17.5" f/4.5 at 100X, notes: "Faint, small, round, brighter in the middle at 100X. There is a bright star in the field and two dim companion galaxies are nearby. It is misidentified as NGC 259 on Chart 18 of the Tirion Atlas. The error has been corrected on later editions. Burnham's description of this object as "vB" for "very bright" must also be a misprint.

Brian Skiff

15cm - mod br gx w/vbr cen @ 80x. 140x: brtr part oval elong SE-NW w/strong

sharp concen to vbr *ar nuc that seems offset to SE end of core. vf thin

extns to 1'.5 length pop out w/averted vis. 1'.5x1' overall but width

only in core. BS, 15Nov1993, LCO.

Contemporary observations

Magda Streicher

1998 August

Galaxy, Sculptor

Location: Campsite (23 16 South - 29 26 East).

Telescope: Meade 8" 18mm eyepiece, 36 arcmin f.o.v.

Date: August 1998.

Sky conditions: Not very good.

Description: Roundish, faint, with a starlike nucleus, with a low surface brightness. Bright star and fainter companion about 4 arc minutes to the north.

Tom Bryant

2010 11 5 21:35:18

Observing site: Fall Star Party

Telescope: C-11

[0h 47m 30s, -31 25' 0"] A tilted spiral? 3:1 elongation. Small, bright nucleus. B: E4/S0.

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.