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NGC 2997 (6,406 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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The Antlia Spiral

NGC 2997, AM 0943-305, ESO 434-35, LEDA 27978, MCG-05-23-012, SGC 094328-3057.6, UGCA 181, Bennett 41b, Antlia Spiral, V 50, h 3188, GC 1923

RA: 09h 45m 38.7s
Dec: −31° 11′ 25″

Con: Antlia
Ch: MSA:900, U2:365, SA:20


(reference key)

Type: galaxy, Sc

Mag: B=10.32, V=9.41

Size: 9.549′ x 6.76′
PA: 110°

Image gallery

Photos  (2)

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Historical observations

William Herschel

Synonyms: H V-050

Discovered in 1793 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He called it "vF, vS, lE 15 degrees sp-nf, lbM, 8' long, 5 or 6' broad."

James Dunlop (1828)

James Dunlop, observing from Paramatta, NSW, Australia, catalogued this galaxy as No.622 in his list. He recorded it once and described it as "A faint elliptical nebula, 2.5' long and 1.5' broad, with a small star involved in the preceding margin."

John Herschel (1847) Cape Observations

Observed by Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "pretty bright, very large, round, very suddenly a little brighter in the middle, to a pretty distinct round nucleus 4 arcsec in diameter. Diameter of nebula = 15 seconds of time. The nebulous atmosphere extremely dilute. A very remarkable object." His second observation records it as "faint, very large, first very gradually then very suddenly much brighter in the middle, to a nucleus (exactly like Halley's comet) as now (Feb. 16, 1836) seen in the equatorial; round; diam. in RA = 24 seconds. Has a 11th mag star S.p. just at the edge."

NGC/IC Dreyer (1888, 1895, 1908)

This 11th magnitude spiral in Antlia is described in the NGC as "remarkable, very faint, very large, very gradually then very suddenly bright in the middle to a nucleus."

Published comments

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

Table IV: !! spiral neb., d 6' or more.

Helwan Obs. Bulletin No 15 (1915)

vF, 6'x5', open spir.

Laustsen, S., Madsen, C. & West, R.M. (1987)

Exploring the Southern Sky: A pictorial atlas from the European Southern Observatory. Springer-Verlag.

Scanned image on disk. [1987EtSS.........0L], plate 33.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975) NGC 2997 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.

NGC 2997 Group: A loose group, consisting of one lenticular NGC 2784 and several large late-type spirals including NGC 2763, NGC 2835, NGC 2848 and NGC 2997, may be isolated in low galactic latitudes at the border of Hydra and Antlia in the foreground of the distant Hydra cloud. ... The large Magellanic irregular NGC 3109, which lies about 5 north following NGC 2997, is probably an isolated foreground object.

Page, Thornton (1975)

("Galaxies and the Universe", Chapter 13 - Binary Galaxies) includes this galaxy in the NGC 2997 Group. Members include NGC 2997, NGC 2835, NGC 2784, NGC 2848 & NGC 2763.

Photo index

Photo Index by Jim Lucyk: Sky&Tel. 8/77 p92, Sky&Tel. 9/81 p217, Astronomy mag. 10/84 p4-5, Deep Sky #22 Sp88 p45, Universe Guide to Stars & Planets (Ridpath & Tirion) p72, Astronomy mag. 12/87 (cover).

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 10.5 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads SC,B,STELNUC,WD,VKNY DKLNS.

Modern observations

Tom Lorenzin

Tom Lorenzin, in the electronic version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "11M; 6' x 5' extent; centerless soft glow; !good supernova prospect! 45' N and a little E is very faint SP GAL N3001 (12.8M; 2' x 1' extent) 20' SW of 6.5M star (SAO 177939)."

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

Hartung notes: "In a field of scattered stars, this interesting object is a large faint ellipse of luminous haze about 5' x 4', of fairly even light except for a well-defined much brighter nucleus less than 10 arcsec across . . 15cm shows it only very dimly."

Steve Coe

Steve Coe, using a 13" f/5.6, notes: "Pretty faint, very large, elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 90, very suddenly brighter middle with an almost stellar nucleus, there is some mottling at 150X. A 12th mag star is located on the NW rim."

Brian Skiff

POSS: m12 * SE 3'.75 in pa110. m11 * 2'.15 in pa238.

T&B: * SE 3'.75: V=12.3; * SW not meas. several other fntr/more distant *s charted.

15cm - lg diaphanous obj w/sm vsl brtning in center. 4'x2'.5 elong in pa75. m12 * on SW tip. BS, 13Mar1980, Anderson Mesa.

- big, fairly br gx @ 80x. 140x: 6'x4' in pa100, reaching as far as m12 * at SE edge. m11 * embedded in SW side. fairly smooth oval w/vwk broad concen except at vsm core, which has wk sharp concen to vf *ar nuc. core 15" across. a few *s on sfc @ threshold. dkr area elong in pa100 lies SW of core. BS, 25Feb1990, LCO.

25cm - consp * on SW edge, the core nrby. elong a bit E-W, 4'.5x4'. one or two other *s inv. some structure. BS.

- vis @ 50x. 5'x3' in pa75. halo vlosfcbr compared to 45"x15" knotty core. BS, 13Mar1980, Anderson Mesa.

Walter Scott Houston

Houston notes that this galaxy "appears as a glow 6' by 5', with little central condensation. Though about 11th magnitude, NGC 2997 is well shown in a 4-inch refractor, and in my 10-inch reflector is a fine sight. A 7th mag star east of the galaxy aids finding it."

Steve Gottlieb

Southern galaxies from Australia

[amastro] posting, Apr 30, 2008

09 45 38.6 -31 11 25

V = 9.4; Size 8.9x6.8; Surf Br = 13.7; PA = 110d

24" (4/10/08): at 215x, this beautiful, asymmetric face-on spiral extended ~7'x4.5' and was sharply concentrated with a very bright 40" core. The spiral structure is unusual with a very long, relatively thick arm that curves from west to east on the north side of the core. This arm then bends south on the west side and contains a very faint 20" HII knot which is NW of the core and symmetrically placed opposite a star in the outer halo on the SW side. A fainter star is near the end of this arm, due west of the core. To the east of the end of this arm the light level noticeably dips (this is a gap between the arms) on the south side of the galaxy giving an asymmetric appearance.

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf

1994 January 24

1994-01-24, Die Boord, 11x80's. Strong moonlight. Could not find in tripod-mounted binoculars - sky bright.

Magda Streicher

2010 February 14

Location: Alldays

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

Seen as an easy nice large galaxy. The longer you look the more detail became visible. I first try to detect the spiral structure by made a sketch with the stars around in the field of view. The galaxy displays an elongated impression with an north-west to south-east direction. The north-western haze fade out longer and curl slightly to the north, whereas the south-east arm show up shorter and fainter and runs into a few faint stars.

1997 April 05

Location: Campsite (23 16 South 29 26 East)

Sky conditions: 7 magnitude clear.

Instrument: Meade 8" (Super wide angle 18mm eyepiece)

Very faint, with a nucleus in the middle. Sides are fringy, but getting brighter to the middle. Scattered faint stars in the field. I estimate this galaxy about 10 to 11 in brightens and 8' in size.

1998 February 27

Location: Campsite (23 16 South 29 26 East)

Sky conditions: 7 magnitude clear.

Meade 8" (Super fossel 26mm) Field of view 40.6.

Large, elongated, faint galaxy, getting little brighter to the middle. Star to the south edge.

(no date)

8-inch f/10 SCT (EP: 1.25-inch 26mm SP 77x 41' fov; 1.25-inch 18mm SW 111x 36' fov) and 12-inch f/10 SCT (EP: 2-inch 40mm SW 76x 53' fov; 2-inch 14mm 218x 23' fov)

Very faint, elongated with an equal brightness spread over this galaxy and getting slowly brighter towards a well-defined nucleus. The outer edges appear gaseous, which stretched outward towards the east and west sides, seen as hanging threads or shoulders (218x). An 11th magnitude star can be seen close to the southeast rim (218x). The outer part is very gaseous and bulges slightly to the eastern and western sides. Faint stars scattered the field of view. NGC 3001 is 50' arc minutes towards the north and reasonably bright, large and round in shape, gradually brightening towards the nucleus (218x). Discovered by William Herschel in 1793. Observers disagree about the appearance of the nucleus. William says a little brighter to the middle. Johan Herschel records pretty distinct round nucleus. Hartung notes well defined much brighter nucleus and Walter Scott's observation notes a glow with little central condensation.

Richard Ford

2015, April, 19th



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 very faint barred-like structure where the extensions of this galaxy stretch in an anti-clockwise shape where extensions of this galaxy is very faint.Around this galaxy there are plenty of areas of dark lanes been seen and that the light of this galaxy is moderately low which is spread out over a large area making this galaxy a delicate patch of pale faint light.This galaxy measures 11.2'x 8.6'.Chart No:5,NSOG,Vol.2.

2013 February 9th, Saturday

Location:Blesfontein Guest Farm,Sutherland.


Sky Conditions:The most crystal clear sky possible.Dark moon and stars magnitude 6 and fainter are visible with the naked eye.Excellent clean sky,limited star flickering and brilliant objects.

Instrument:12-inch Dobsonian.

This galaxy looks almost like an out of focus egg with extensions being just seen at 75x.The extensions of this galaxy are barred-like.The central nucleus of this galaxy is strongly condensed and that there are some areas of uneven brightness around this galaxy.This galaxy measures 8.2'x 6.8'.Chart No.5,NSOG Vol.2.

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