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NGC 4461. See NGC 4443.
Synonyms: H II-122, H II-174
Discovered on the night of 12 April 1784 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as II-122 and described it as "Two. Both pF S bM." The other object is NGC 4458. On the night of 17 April he observed it again, logging it as II-174, calling it only "faint."
This galaxy is a member of the Virgo Cluster.
The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 12.5 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads EL,LBM,DIFPERIPH.
Markarian (1961, Astronomical Journal, Volume 66, p555-557) suggests that this galaxy is part of a slightly bent physical chain of galaxies extending over about 1.5 degrees in the Virgo cluster. The eight galaxies forming this chain are NGC 4374, NGC 4406, NGC 4435, NGC 4438, NGC 4458, NGC 4461, NGC 4473 & NGC 4477. Markarian reaches the conclusion, based on a probabilistic argument, that "the chain of galaxies in the Virgo cluster is not a chance grouping but a real physical system."
Steve Coe, observing with a 13" f/5.6, notes: "Pretty faint, pretty small, much elongated 3 X 1 in PA 0, much brighter middle with a stellar nucleus at 150X. This nice spindle has faint outer arms, maybe the reason Wm Herschel gave it "R" for "round"."
AJ Crayon, using an 8" f/6 Newtonian, notes: "is a galaxy. At 80X it is 3'X2' 11.5m, in position angle southeast."
Tom Lorenzin, in the e-version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "11.2M; 3.7' x 1.5' extent; bright, soft, NNE-SSW-oriented slash 45' ENE of M-86, past N4438 and 4435; 4' to NNW is soft and small EL GAL N4458 (13.3M; 1' diameter); all are <1 degree ENE of the M-84-86 "NONET"."
Observing site: Pinnacles overlook
[12h 29m 0s, 13° 11m 0s] AKA NGC 4443. A small, bright elliptical (Burnham: S0). A pair with the fainter ngc 4458.
Sky Conditions:The fainter parts of the Milky Way are barely visible.Haziness only visible on the horizon.Atmosphere stable with little interference.
This galaxy's tiny circular like shape is extremely faint as a very pale smudge of faint light which gently glows in a barren star field with a few 9th to 10th magnitude stars.The central core of this galaxy is centrally condensed.This galaxy measures 3.5'x 2.9'.
The Messier objects
The Bennett objects
The Caldwell list
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