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Full database:

Entire DOCdb database of 18,816 objects.



NGC 300 (613 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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Sculptor Pinwheel

NGC 300, AM 0052-375, ESO 295-20, LEDA 3238, MCG-06-03-005, SGC 005232-3757.2, SPB 17, Bennett 6, Caldwell 70, Sculptor Pinwheel, h 2359, GC 169

RA: 00h 54m 53.5s
Dec: −37° 40′ 59″

Con: Sculptor
Ch: MSA:408, U2:351, SA:18


(reference key)

Type: galaxy, Sd

Mag: B=8.7, V=?

Size: 15.13′ x 10.47′
PA: 111°

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Sketches  (2)

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Photos  (1)

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Historical observations

Dunlop, James (1827)

James Dunlop discovered this galaxy from Paramatta, New South Wales, with a 9-inch f/12 telescope; his No. 530 is recorded as "a pretty large, faint nebula, irregular round figure, 6' or 7' diameter, easily resolvable into exceedingly minute stars, with four or five stars of more considerable magnitude; slight compression of the stars to the centre."

John Herschel (1847) Cape Observations

This spiral galaxy was observed by Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it on three occasions, the first time on the night of September 1, 1834. He called it "bright; very large; very gradually pretty much brighter towards the middle; very much elongated; irregular figure; 8' to 10' long, 3' or 4' broad; has subordinate nuclei." His sketch indicates four regions of nebulosity. Three nights later, he noted it as "faint, very large, very gradually brighter towards the middle; 4' long; 2' broad; has another nebula attached." He noted 10.4' to the west a "very faint nebula attached to the large one, or a subordinate nucleus." On 30 November 1837 he wrote: "A large oval nebula, containing three stars." He had tentatively identified it with Dunlop 530, but noted: "Mr. Dunlop's neb 530 is described by him as easily resolvable into very minute stars,. Its identity with this is therefore very doubtful."

Ellery, R.L.J. (1885) Melbourne Observations

Recorded in "Observations of the Southern Nebulae made with the Great Melbourne Telescope".

See the discussion of Lithograph M.1.3 for the details.

NGC/IC Dreyer (1888, 1895, 1908)

In the Notes to the NGC, Dreyer writes: "A complex object with several nuclei."

Published comments

Helwan Obs. Bulletin No 9 (1912)

vF, 14'x8', spiral with many condensations.

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 300 !! 15'x20', B no N, B * inv.

Helwan Obs. Bulletin No 22 (1921)

F, 20'x10', E 130deg, spiral with F stell.N. and very many alm.stell.condensations. This cancels description in HOB 9. Sixteen small nebulae in the field.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1956)

"Survey of bright galaxies south of -35 declination", Mem. Mount Stromlo, No. 13. On photos taken with the 30-inch Reynolds reflector, 20-inch diaphragm: bright inner part 19' x 13.5', faint outer regions 23' x 17'. Remarks: extremely remarkable, well resolved, emmission objects.

Van den Bergh (1963)

("A Nearby Cluster of Galaxies", Observatory, 83, December 1963, 257) derives the distance to the cluster as 2.0 Mpc, only about three times the distance to M31. Galaxies listed are NGC 45, 55, 247, 253, 300, 7793.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

(Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 10.0 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads LGBOPENS,BDDIFKNARMS.

Sandage & Tammann (1975)

Sandage, A. & Tammann, G. A. (1975) Steps toward the Hubble constant. V - The Hubble constant from nearby galaxies and the regularity of the local velocity field. ApJ, 196, 313-328. [1975ApJ...196..313S]

Sandage and Tammann (1975, Astrophysical Journal, 196, 313-328) includes this galaxy in the South Polar Group. Members include NGC 24, NGC 45, NGC 55, NGC 247, NGC 253, NGC 300 & NGC 7793.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975)

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.

[Sculptor Group is the] nearest of all nearby groups [and] is a loose association of six or seven late-type spirals Sc to Sm (NGC 45, 55, 247, 253, 300, 7793, and perhaps IC 5332)...

ESO/Upps (Lauberts 1982)

The ESO/Uppsala Survey of the ESO(B) Atlas remarks: "Strong HII regions." The magnitude is listed as 8.70.

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 72.

Schmidt, K.-H. et al. (1993)

Schmidt K.-H., Priebe A. & Boller T. (1993) Nearby galaxies. Revised machine-readable version of the catalogue. Astron. Nachr., 314, 371. [1993AN....314..371S]

Other names: "E295-20". Inclination: (face-on, in degrees) 43 Total photoelectric blue mag 8.72 Total colour index .59 Logarithm of the angular diameter D25 (arcminutes) 2.34 Blue photographic magnitude 9.00 This galaxy is included in a sample of galaxies with velocity less than 500km/s with respect to the centroid of the Local Group. [Nearby Galaxies. Schmidt K.-H., Priebe A., Boller T. (Astron. Nachr. 314, 371 (1993))]

Photo index

by Jim Lucyk: Sky&Tel. 12/76 p412, Hubble Atl.of Gal. (Sandage 1961) p32, Deep Sky #9 Wi84 p39, Burnhams V3 p1738, Vehrenberg's Atlas of DS Splendors (3ed) p27, Universe Guide to Stars & Planets (Ridpath & Tirion) p224, Cat.of South.Peculiar Gal.and Ass. Vol 2 (Arp&Madore, 1987) p2.2, Cat.of South.Peculiar Gal.and Ass. Vol 2 (Arp&Madore, 1987) p11.8.

Modern observations

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

Hartung calls it a "diffuse haze rising broadly to the centre, irregular and extended generally west-east, about 3' x 2'" as seen with a 12-inch reflector. With a 6-inch he calls it a "faint, indefinite haze."

Sanford (1989) Observing the Constellations

Sanford writes: "It is a member of the South Galactic Pole group of galaxies, which includes NGC 45, NGC 55, NGC 247, NGC 253, NGC 300, and NGC 7793. This loose grouping has been characterized as the nearest group of galaxies there is beyond the Local Group, which is centred on our Milky Way Galaxy."

Steve Coe

Steve Coe, in "SACNEWS On-line for November 1996", observing with a 17.5" f/4.5 at 100X, notes: NGC 300 is at 0 hr 54.9 min and -37 41. I saw it as faint, large, and somewhat brighter in the middle at 100X. There are four stars seen across the face of this galaxy. This is a low surface brightness object. Imagine M 33 only 10 degrees above the horizon.

AJ Crayon

AJ Crayon, using an 8" f/6 Newtonian, notes: "is a spiral galaxy. It is 10' 10m; round, has a low surface brightness, and 3 stars are involved, at 80x."

Tom Lorenzin

Tom Lorenzin, in the electronic version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "11M; 21'x 14' extent; large and faint; look for s-shape in this face-on spiral; photo at Burnhams Celestial Handbook-III-1738; good supernova prospect."

Brian Skiff

15cm - lg vbr gx w/modlosfcbr @ 50x. halo goes 1/2 way btwn m10 * SW and m12.5 * beyond it SW, 2:1 ratio. wk even concen to ~circ sl brtr 1' core. 15'x8' in pa120. m11.5 * sup almost due E of core. 80x/140x show sfc just starting to break up, but no distinct knots or other features, no spiral arms. BS, 15Nov1993, LCO.

Danie L. Cronje


Danie Cronje, observing with 10x50 binoculars, calls it "faint, large, no bright centre. Next to a rather bright star. Seen without averted vision, but difficult. (Sky ashen grey with very little contrast.)"

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf

2009 January 02

Sutherland (Radar Dome Quarry), 8-inch f/6 Dobsonian, Conditions: Clear, dark.

I'm always pleasantly surprised by NGC 300, a large oval nebula readily seen at 96x, with several small stars involved. Its moderate surface brightness lends it an ethereal quality and is reminiscent of the SMC seen with the naked eye; or one of the many starry nebulae seen in the Cape Clouds.

1997 November 29

1997 November 29/30, Sat/Sun: Jonkershoek, seeing 3, transparency 3, sky darkness 4, lim.mag. at south pole 6.0 (naked eye), 10.7 (binoculars at pole) Strong SE wind. "Like a small cloud. Very large 19' x 13' oval smudge, elongated roughly east-west, with a 9.5m star immersed in the south-west border. Elongation ratio 10:7. "

Magda Streicher

2007 Aug 10


12-inch f/10 SCT (76x, 95x)

What a nice round glow, such a lot to offer. Very intense to the middle area bath in a soft hazy light.

1997 November 20

Location: Pietersburg. ( South 23 53. East 29 28).

Sky conditions: Very good 7 magnitude.

Instrument: Meade 12 inch (Eyepiece super 40mm).

Date: 20 November 1997.

Field of view: 52.7 arc minutes.

Very very faint haze of light surrounded in a scattered starfield. Maybe irregular and extended in places. Hazy towards the middle.

(no date)

12-inch f/10 SCT (EP: 2-inch 40mm SW 76x 53' fov; 2-inch 14mm UW 218x 23' fov)

Very faint, round smudge of light, relatively large and slightly elongated in a northwest to southeast direction. It gets very slowly and gradually brighter to the nucleus with a soft hazy outer edge. Two stars embedded towards the south east part of the galaxy (218x). Relatively scattered field of view. Towards the southwest Lambda 1 and 2 can be seen which display in own right a white and yellow colour.

Tom Bryant

2009 12 16 19:20:58

Observing site: Little Tycho Observatory

Telescope: C-8

[0h 54m 54s, -37 41' 0"] A faint, large, mottled, smudge, emeshed in a parallogram of foreground stars.

Carol Botha

2010 July 17, Saturday

Location:Betty's Bay

Time: 23:15

Telescope: 12 Dobsonian f4,9. Eyepiece 15mm. FOV- 36

Sky conditions: Seeing 4/5

Object description:

Spiral Galaxy in Sculptor

Very faint fuzzy in the finderscope looks like the SMC

I cannot see any spiral structure through the telescope with 15mm eyepiece

E two bright stars like "pointers"

Three bright stars across the brightest portion of the "cloud"

S my initial C! a pretty grouping of stars

Richard Ford

2016, September, 3rd



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 an almost oval-like shape that looks like an out of focus spiral galaxy.The galactic nucleus of this galaxy is very condensed and that this galaxy has a poorly concentrated core.At 75x this galaxy looks like a uniform smudge of faint light on account that the light of this galaxy is spread over a relatively large area.This galaxy measures 4.3'x 3.0'.Chart No:371,NSOG,Vol.1.

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