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 4565 (9,894 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 4565

NGC 4565, LEDA 42038, MCG+04-30-006, UGC 7772, Caldwell 38, V 24, h 1357, GC 3106

RA: 12h 36m 21.07s
Dec: +25° 59′ 13.5″

Con: Coma Berenices
Ch: MSA:677, U2:149, SA:7


(reference key)

Type: galaxy (AGN LINER-type), Sb

Mag: B=10.3, V=?

Size: 14.79′ x 2.137′
PA: 136°

Historical observations

William Herschel (c.1784)

Synonyms: H V-024

Discovered in 1785 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He called it "a lucid ray 20' long or more, 3' or 4' broad, N.p.-S.f., vBm, a beautiful appearance."

Lassell, W. (1866)

Bibcode: [1866MmRAS..36....1L]

Sketched and described.

Barnard, E.E. (1916)



Webb, T.W. (1893)

In the 5th edition of Webb's Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes it is described as "long streak with parallel patch on following edge. Extraordinary phenomenon. E. of Rosse, about 15', nucleus projecting into dark lane, sky preceding neb. darker than elsewhere. Very faint 3.7-inch, well seen 9-inch speculum."

Published comments

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

(Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 10.5 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads BLGEON,SMNUCBULGE,BM.

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]

(1975, Astrophysical Journal, 196, 313-328) includes this galaxy in the Coma I Cloud. Members include NGC 4203, NGC 4245, NGC 4251, NGC 4274, NGC 4278, NGC 4283, NGC 4314, NGC 4414, NGC 4448, NGC 4494, NGC 4559, NGC 4565, NGC 4670 & NGC 4725.

Sandage, A. (1961) The Hubble Atlas of Galaxies

This galaxy appears on page 25 of "The Hubble Atlas of Galaxies" by Allan Sandage (1961, Washington, DC).

Photo index

by Jim Lucyk: Sky&Tel. 1/73 p59, Sky&Tel. 3/83 p262, Sky&Tel. 8/86 p113, Astronomy mag. 1/78 p45, Astronomy mag. 1/84 p14, Astronomy mag. 4/78 p25, Astronomy mag. 5/82 p42, Astronomy mag. 3/88 p75, Deep Sky #10 Sp85 p14, Deep Sky #14 Sp86 p12, Burnhams V2 p687, Burnhams V2 p689, Hubble Atl.of Gal. (Sandage 1961) p25, Sky Catal. 2000 (Vol 2, 1985) pxxxi, Universe Guide to Stars & Planets (Ridpath & Tirion) p116, Galaxies (Hodge,1986) p50, Galaxies (Ferris,1982) p100.

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.

Coma I Cloud

This is an elliptical area 11°x5° enclosing two main condensations, the denser NGC 4274 group and a loose grouping around NGC 4565. The NGC 4274 group (van den Bergh; Sersic) includes NGC 4245 4251 4274 4278 4283 4314 4414 4448 and possibly 4062 4146 4203 4359 IC3330... The grouping around NGC 4565 includes also NGC 4494 4559 4725 and A1244.

Doig, P. (1925)

Doig, P. (1925) Notes on the nebulae and clusters in Webb's 'Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes' (Sixth edition, Vol.ii). Part I. M.N.R.A.S., 35(5), 159.

Modern observations


This famous edge-on galaxy in Coma Berenices can be located by first finding 12 and 17 Coma Berenices, which lie in the Coma Star Cluster. The galaxy is then situated to the east, about the same distance as the separation of the two stars. It has been seen with a 10x50 binocular, and with a reasonably clear sky is easy with a 3-inch. An 8-inch reflector at 116x shows only the brighter field stars, and resembles the appearance in photographs. On very clear nights, an 8-inch just gives an impression of the dark, obscuring lane.

Walter Scott Houston

writes: "NGC 4565 is certainly one of the showpiece objects in the spring sky. At magnitude 9.5 and half a Moon's breadth long, it is an edge-on spiral that appears as a striking spike of light in just about any amateur telescope."

Sanford (1989) Observing the Constellations

Notes that "the unmistakablly thin, edge-on shape is 16' x 3' with a 13th magnitude star visible just above the nuclear area. The dark dust lane is only really apparent where it crosses the nuclear bulge."

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

writes: "I can trace this object for 12' x 1' and the absorption lane is prominent, as well as the faint nebulosity outside it near the bright centre. This is just visible with 20cm while 10.5cm will show the nebula as a faint extended haze."

Shaffer, Alan (IAAC)

(e-mail: milkyway@gte.net, web: http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/3693/)

Instrument: 25-inch Dobsonian reflector Location: Mt. Pinos, California, US

Light pollution: none Transparency: excellent Seeing: excellent

Time: Sat Jun 7 10:00:00 1997 UT Obs. no.: 146

A beautiful, huge edge on galaxy. Through the 25" and the 10" SCT, I could EASILY pick out the dark dust lanes in the galaxy. The galaxy took up the entire field of the Neglar eyepiece. A first time observation of this great galaxy for me. I will never forget it and can't wait to see it again. This is a must see under medium power in clear, dark skies. Blown away

Tom Lorenzin

Lorenzin, in the e-version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "10.5M; 15' x 1' extent; very large, silver slash with thin, distinct dust lane passing just NE of 13M stellar core! axis oriented NW-SE; one of the finest edge-on spirals! 13M star 1' NE of core; 13M star 3' SSW of core; see photo at HAG-25 !good supernova prospect! a gaggle of smaller, fainter galaxies lie off the NW tip within 0.5 degree and stretching N-ward, including N4565b, N4565c and N4555."

Ware, Donald J

:"Palomar has a famous picture of this edge on spiral, and NGC 4565 is probably the largest example of an edge on spiral. It can be found 3 degrees from 17 Comae and less than 3 degrees from the North Galatic Pole. The image is good in small telescopes of 6 inches or more."

Brian Skiff

UGC: pa136.

POSS: m13.5 * 1'.65 SE; m14 * 3'.6 SSW. * in string (1989 15cm obs) at 8'.25 radius, implies halo 16'.5x1'.65; core 3'.3x0'.55.

Hanes+: * N V=13.5.

T&B: * N V=13.8.

Hubble: gx in pa138; * in pa44, another at 4' in pa210.

7cm - vlong mod f spindle in *ry fld @ 30x. 50x: m13.5 * next to core on NE side readily vis. wk-mod even concen in rel f halo, then strong-broad concen in core. no sharp nuc. dk lnae not obvious. BS, 26Apr1993, Anderson Mesa.

15cm - at times of good seeing a 7'x1' streak. mottlilngs were seen giving impression of dk lane. BS sees br spot off center as nuc; and neb patch about 30' W, 1' diam.

- overrated...5' diffuse core. w/averted vis it extends to 15' in dk sky. some impression of sk lane. some *s inv w/gx.

- yowzer! 16' long in pa125. halo has mod broad concen along maj axis up to core, which has mod even concen. core length is 2x distance to m13.5 * NE of nuc bulge. dk lane distinct @ 80x/140x, lies NE of geom center of core. max width approx = distance to m13.5 *. core 1/3 of this (i.e. all S of dk lane). occas vf *ar nuc. NW tip of halo reaches to radius of Nmost * of a string of five *s approx W. m14 * farther S of center than m13.5 *. BS, 29Mar1989, Anderson Mesa.

25cm - 90x: elong SE-NW, 20' long w/averted vis. 180x shows it 1' wide. cen bulge 4'x1'. m12 * NE of core. * suspected embedded on SE edge of core.

30cm - great! crosses 16'.4 fld SE-NW. * to N 1'.5. sharp *-like point on E side of nuc just above dk lane. lane seen easily against nuc on NE edge. dk bar traceable for 2'.5-3'. on NW ~5' from nuc is br patch 1'.2 across; on SE sev sm patches can be seen.

Mullaney, J

Mullaney calls it a "superb sight on dark nights ... a 9.6 magnitude sliver of light some 16' long, it's easy in a 3-inch refractor at 45x. A dark rift, running lengthwise, cutting it in two, and a pronounced nucleur bulge are both visible in 6- to 8-inch instruments. This is one of the most fascinating galaxies in the heavens - don't overlook it."

Contemporary observations

Richard Ford

2009 January 25, 04:00 SAST


12-inch f5 (EP: 26mm SW, 20mm UW, 7mm UW)

Conditions: The most 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. Limiting Magnitude: 6.2.

Spiral Galaxy located in Coma Berenices. Bright, well defined. Low surface brightness. Very elongated which appears as a long thin streak of faint light which is spread over a large distance of this galaxy. This galaxy has a prominent dust lane and a bright central nucleus. There are slight darker regions on the outskirts of this galaxy. Areas of uneven brightness are noticeable towards the ends of this galaxy.

Tom Bryant

2008-05-28 23:00:00

Observing site: Pinnacles overlook

Telescope: C-8

[12h 36m 18s, 25 59m 0s] This superb edge on gives the illusion of having the edges of its spiral arms appear to be spread out, which photos prove does not happen.

2007-03-18 10:30:00

Observing site: Pinnacles overlook

Telescope: C-8

[12h 36m 18s, 25 59m 0s] 80x: A faint but distinct streak, with sharp edges. Bright middle, and the dust lane was barely visible with averted vision

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.