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 4826 (10,610 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

Black Eye Galaxy

NGC 4826, LEDA 44182, MCG+04-31-001, UGC 8062, Evil Eye Galaxy, Sleeping Beauty Galaxy, Messier 64, Black Eye Galaxy, h 1486, GC 3321

RA: 12h 56m 43.88s
Dec: +21° 41′ 0.1″

Con: Coma Berenices
Ch: MSA:676, U2:149, SA:7


(reference key)

Type: galaxy (Seyfert), Sb

Mag: B=8.9, V=?

Size: 10.71′ x 5.128′
PA: 115°

Image gallery

Photos  (2)

Select a photo and click the button to view

Historical observations

William Herschel (c.1784)

Discovered in 1790 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He called it "1785, April 27. Extends not less than 25' and the southern branch loses itself more imperceptibly and is much broader and more diffused than the northern one; the night being very fine I viewed it to the greatest advantage. I suspected the ground of the heavens about the northern branch to be tinged with a very faint, milky nebulosity for a considerable way. 1787, February 13. A very remarkable object, mE about 12; long, 4' or 5' broad, contains one lucid spot like a star with a small black arch under it, so that it gives one the idea of what is called a black eye, arising from fighting."

Lassell, W. (1866)

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

Sketched and described.

Webb, T.W. (1893)

In the 5th edition of Webb's Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes it is described as "magnificent large bright nebula blazing to a nucleus. According to John Herschel, resolvable, nucleus probably double star, with vacuity below it. E. of Rosse, circular shaped, with dark and light spot on one side, around which is a close cluster of well-defined little stars. Rather faint in 3.7-inch."

Published comments

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.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

(Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 9.0 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads B,EL,DIFPERIPH PERIPH SSTR SUSP.

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 Canes Venatici I Cloud. Members include NGC 4136, NGC 4150, NGC 4214, NGC 4244, NGC 4248, NGC 4258, NGC 4395, NGC 4449, NGC 4736, NGC 4826 & IC 4182.

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

This galaxy appears on page 13 of "The Hubble Atlas of Galaxies" by Allan Sandage (1961, Washington, DC).

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: "U8062,M64". Inclination: (face-on, in degrees) 57 Total photoelectric blue mag 9.36 Total colour index .84 Logarithm of the angular diameter D25 (arcminutes) 2.00 Blue photographic magnitude 8.68 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))]

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.

5. The nearer groups within 10 megaparsecs

G3. CVn I Cloud.

Brightest members: 4736, 4258, 4826, 4449, 4214.

A loose cloud of low-velocity objects may be isolated in the foreground of several more distant, overlapping groups and clouds in the UMa-CVn-Coma area. This whole region is described as the CVn cluster or M94 group by van den Bergh, who points out that many dwarfs are concentrated in this area; Sersic describes a subset as the UMa I group and another as the UMa II group (both of which, however, are all within the boundaries of CVn). ... After much searching and with some hesitation in borderline cases, the following objects were isolated as members of the foreground CVn I cloud (or restricted M94 group): NGC 4136, 4150, 4214, 4244, 4258, 4395, 4736, IC 4182, A1157 (=DDO 115) and possibly NGC 4826. Other possible dwarf members include DDO 99, 125, 126, 129, 133, 141, 143 and 156. All members are spirals of type Sb or later and Magellanic irregulars.

p 590: "The present data on nearby groups may nevertheless help to answer the simpler question:Are there isolated galaxies? ... out of the 60 galaxies in this objectively selected sample, only eight have not been associated with one of the 55 nearby groups, viz. NGC 404, NGC 1313, NGC 2903, NGC 3109, NGC 3521, NGC 6744, NGC 6946 & IC 5152. In addition there is a possibility that a few galaxies, such as NGC 1316, NGC 4594, NGC 4826 are not really members of the groups (For I, Vir Y, CVn I) to which they have been tentatively assigned. Furthermore, the reality of the NGC 5128 chain as a physical unit may be questionable; but then it is difficult to know where to stop in this 'dismemberment' of loose groups, and the local outcome of an overconservative attitude would be to exclude from consideration all but a few rich clusters and dense groups... on the other hand, several of the eight supposedly isolated galaxies might yupon further investigation turn out to be members of some of the nearer groups; in particular, NGC 404, NGC 3109 and IC 1512 should be examined for possible membership in the Local Group. Other (more remote) possibilities are NGC 1569, IC 342 and perhaps some heavily obscured systems as yet unrecognized. For example, IC 10, although long suspected, was only recently established as a Local Group member (Roberts 1962, de Vaucouleurs and Ables 1965). ... to the writer's knowledge, NGC 1313 and NGC 6744 in the southern sky, and probably NGC 2903 and NGC 6946 in the northern sky, are truly isolated galaxies not associated with any nearby group, although both are in the larger Local Supercluster."

Bailey, S.I. (1908)

"nebula, elongated at 125°, 3'0 x 1.5'; bright nucleus; spiral"

Bailey, S.I. (1908) A catalogue of bright stars and nebulae. Ann.Harv.Coll.Obs., 60(8), 199.

Modern observations

Walter Scott Houston

This galaxy was nicknamed the Black Eye galaxy by Sir Charles Blagden, while observing with William Herschel. He was referring to the large dark patch of dust that obscures the galaxy's light north and east of the nucleus. The noted observer John Mallas has seen the 'Eye with a 2.4-inch refractor, and found it easy with a 4-inch. Concerning the visibility of the 'Eye, Walter Scott Houston notes: "Apparently, with still larger apertures, the black eye becomes more difficult, being flooded by light from the rest of the galaxy. However, by using high magnification, thus increasing the image scale and lowering the apparent surface brightness, the black eye can be made more apparent." Sanford notes that "the galaxy is seen as an ellipse, with no structure except for a dark spot seen against the glow of the galaxy on the northeast side ... it can be seen in a 6-inch."

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

Hartung sees it "as a large bright ellipse about 4.5' x 2.5' in pa 110 deg, rising much to a central nucleus, close north of which is a small dark absorption area distinctly concave inwards . . it is shown by 7.5cm as elongated with brighter centre."

Tom Lorenzin

Lorenzin, in the e-version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "8.6M; 7.5' x 3.5' extent; very bright and large ellipse with axis oriented WNW-ESE; dark splotch NE of core lends this galaxy its common name, the "BLACKEYE" galaxy; 10M star 5' to NE; beautiful at 200x; !good supernova prospect! see photo at HAG-13."

Ware, Donald J

:"The"Blackeye" Galaxy (NGC 4826) measures 7.5' x 3.5', and can be located about 1 degree ENE from 35 Comae. The structure is unusual and I have to admit the first time I saw it I thought it to be an eye winking at me (maybe it was just late at night). It is rated as one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible. The distance to M64 is between 20 - 25 million light years."

Brian Skiff

POSS: no * SE edge (7cm).

UGC: pa115.

6cm - br. elong in pa110, 6'x3'. prominent nuc w/smooth texture. m11 * 5' NE. inner regions seem more elongate. nuc is closer to S side.

7cm - vbr hisfcbr gx @ 30x w/sharp center. 50x: oval w/smooth outline. halo broadly brtr despite modhisfcbr. no core, but vbr *ar nuc. seems to be dim zone around nuc mostly S side; halo more sharply fading on S side. m11.5 * NE, m13 * on NW; vf * close to SE edge. BS, 26Apr1993, Anderson Mesa.

15cm - vbr in *-rich fld. br core inside fntr halo. at 68x gx vis inside triangle of *s and `blackeye' only suspected. 132x: dk patch still not clr, many f *s embedded in neb. after some study blackeye seen with averted vis.

30cm - 6'x3'. smooth texture. dk lane obvious with or w/o averted vis. nuc is right up against lane, non*ar. dk lane biggest on E & NE side of nuc. a smooth brtning curves across N ---> E side just outside dk lane.

Danie L. Cronje


Cronje, observing with 10x50 binoculars, calls it "very faint, almost only seen with averted vision. Quite large. No prominent central brightening. (Faintness could be due to low altitude of 20 degrees + light pollution.)"

Contemporary observations

Richard Ford

2009 January 25, 03:10 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. Very Bright, Well defined. Fairly low surface brightness. This galaxy has an oval shape with distinctive spiral structure. I have noticed a bright nucleus which resembles a black eye. I have noticed darker regions on the outskirts of this galaxy. The dust lanes of this galaxy has some darker regions which is noticeable in my 20mm ultra wide angle eyepiece.

Tom Bryant

2009-04-17 22:30:00

Observing site: Pinnacles overlook

Telescope: C-11

[12h 56m 42s, 21 41m 0s] The weird spiral with a dust cloud in its disk. It looked like its pictures with averted vision.

2009-05-12 21:15:00

Observing site: Little Bennett Regional Park

Telescope: C-11

[12h 56m 42s, 21 41m 0s] Barely saw the dust cloud. The transparency was not good tonight. Heavy dew. This might have looked better in darker skies.

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.