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NGC 4729 (10,425 of 18,816)

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NGC 4729

NGC 4729, ESO 323-16, LEDA 43591, MCG-07-27-002, SGC 124900-4051.6, h 3430, GC 3252

RA: 12h 51m 46.33s
Dec: −41° 07′ 56.3″

Con: Centaurus
Ch: MSA:934, U2:402, SA:21

Ref: SIMBAD

(reference key)

Type: galaxy (in cluster), Es...

Mag: B=14.11, V=?

Size: 1.445′ x 1.445′
PA: ?

History and Accurate Positions for the NGC/IC Objects (Corwin 2004)

NGC 4729 and NGC 4730. This problem arose because John Herschel's original observations of 8 June 1834 yielded only very rough estimates of the positions of the two galaxies (see his Results of Observations...at the Cape of Good Hope... of 1847 for more information.) Inasmuch as the two galaxies were not observed again until 1920, Dreyer had no choice but to use Herschel's rough places when the NGC was prepared for publication in 1888.

Ron Buta came across this same problem some years ago during his classification of galaxies on the Whiteoak PSS extension. In a letter of 3 Aug 1977, he suggested that the galaxies at 12 49 00.2 -40 51 33 (= ESO 323-G16, 1950 positions) and 12 49 14.0 -40 52 32 (= EU 323-G17) are N4729 and N4730, respectively. Andris Lauberts came to the same conclusion at about the same time when he was preparing ESO/Upps List VI. I entirely agree with their suggestions as these are the two brightest and most easily seen objects south-preceding NGC 4744 where Herschel noticed them.

The two galaxies are Vidal and Wickramasinghe's B and C, respectively. (By the way, VW's D = N4744 and E = N4743). Jack Sulentic's incorrect RNGC identifications refer to VW's N3 and N4, and Dawe et al are also wrong: in their list (1970 positions), 12 50 24 -40 59 54 = N4729 and 12 50 38 - 41 00 46 = N4730.

More confusion: under the designation HB 288 (more on that in a moment), Sandage (Ap. J. 202, 563, 1975) gives the position of N4729, but the velocity of N4730 (compare VW and Dawe et al). Unfortunately, the de Vaucouleurs and I directly copied this mismatch into the Second Reference Catalogue (where the data are under the single listing for "A1248-40") and Sandage simply repeated his data in his redshift list in A.J. 83, 904, 1978.

Finally, the "HB" designations come from a series of papers by Knox-Shaw, Gregory, and Madwar in the Helwan (formerly Khedivial) Observatory Bulletins Nos. 9, 15, 21, 22, 30, and 38. N4729 - 30 were noted by Gregory in Bulletin No. 22 as "Not found". However, among the (mostly!) new nebulae noted on the Helwan plates, Gregory suggested that Helwan Bulletin nebulae Nos. 281, 2, or 3 might be N4729 or 30. De Vaucouleurs (in Commonwealth Obs. Memoirs No. 13, his southern Shapley-Ames revision) concurs, but adds No. 288 as a possibility. (He also confuses the nomenclature problem even further by using "HB" for Harvard Bulletin! What a mess.) Actually, N4729 = Helwan Bulletin 288 and N4730 = HB 289.

Historical observations

John Herschel (1847) Cape Observations

Discovered by Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "The first of three." These three objects are NGC 4729, NGC 4730 & NGC 4744.

Published comments

Helwan Obs. Bulletin No 22 (1921)

No nebula here. Exposutre 80 minutes.

Paturel et al. (1991)

Paturel, G., Petit, C., Kogoshvili, N. et al. (1991) An extragalactic data base. IV. Errors and misprints in catalogues of galaxies. Astrophys.J.Suppl.Ser., 91(3), 371.

NGC 4729 = MCG -7 -27 -2.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a galaxy. Their coded description reads SLEL,BM,SLDIFPERIPH.

Modern observations

Bahr-Vollrath, Gerd (1992)

Gerd Bahr-Vollrath (Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia) observing with an 8-inch f/12 SCT, writes in The Webb Society Nebulae and Clusters Section Report No. 10, July 1992: "One of the many faint and challending galaxy clusters in Centaurus. All of these galaxies were at the threshold of visibility, and some may even have been a product of my imagination. The galaxies appeared as very indistinct diffuse glows, barely brighter than the background sky. Definitely a challenge for 20-cm telescopes."

Brian Skiff

ESO-LV: 13.49.

15cm - rel f spot 20" diam w/mod even concen. lies WNW of -30, is brtst of three

incl -30 & -44. BS, 27Feb1990, LCO.

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