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RA: 12h 48m 49.1s
Dec: −41° 18′ 40″
Ch: MSA:934, U2:402, SA:21
Ref: SIMBAD, Corwin (2004)
Type: galaxy (in cluster), S...
Mag: B=11.75, V=?
Size: 4.466′ x 2.951′
Discovered by Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "pretty bright, large, round, gradually brighter in the middle, 2' resolvable."
F, 1.5' diameter, R. pB, alm.stell.N.; the object looks unlike a nebula; and is suggestive of a very distant unresolved globular cluster.
De Vaucouleurs (1956) "Survey of bright galaxies south of -35° declination", Mem. Mount Stromlo, No. 13. (photographic study, plates taken with the 30-inch Reynolds reflector, 20-inch diaphragm).
Shobbrook (1966, Mon. Not. R. astr. Soc., Vol 131, p351-363) notes that this member of the Centaurus Cluster has V = 11.25, B-V = 1.06 and U-B = 0.71. It measures 2.55 by 2.32. He remarks: "NGC 4696 becomes redder in the larger diaphragm in U-B. This may be due to the fact that, in addition to the main dust lane near the nucleus, there are also very faint absorption filaments in the outer regions."
The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 12.0 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads E,R,BM,EXTHALO.
Sandage (1975(Astrophysical Journal, 202, 563-582) notes that this galaxy is a member of the Centaurus Cluster. Members include NGC 4645, NGC 4677, NGC 4683, NGC 4696, NGC 4706, NGC 4709, NGC 4743, NGC 4744 & NGC 4767.
Burnham calls this a 12.5 mag elliptical galaxy in Centaurus, 1.7' x 1.2', pretty bright, large, slightly elongated and gradually brighter in the middle.
Photo Index by Jim Lucyk: Deep Sky #22 Sp88 p29.
POSS: m13 * 45" NW.
15cm - much the brtst of cl, mod br @ 80x w/m13 * in NW side. 140x: 1'.5 diam in vf halo; brtr part oval elong ~E-W w/mod even concen. no well-def core or nuc. BS, 27Feb1990, LCO.
From "Observing log, 2004 March 24"
Rifle Range, 6-inch f/8
I made it all the way across to the heart of the Centaurus cluster, four degrees away, before I noticed that all was not well. NGC 4696, quite obvious in a diminished star field, was a soft glow, much like a bloated star. I looked up from the eyepiece, and saw the first wisp of cloud move in. It was just after midnight.
The Messier objects
The Bennett objects
The Caldwell list
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