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NGC 4976 (11,130 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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NGC 4976

NGC 4976, ESO 219-29, LEDA 45562, SGC 130542-4914.3, Bennett 58, h 3468, GC 3413

RA: 13h 08m 37.4s
Dec: −49° 30′ 20″

Con: Centaurus
Ch: MSA:954, U2:402, SA:21


(reference key)

Type: galaxy, S...

Mag: B=11.17, V=10.2

Size: 5.37′ x 2.951′
PA: 161°

Historical observations

John Herschel (1847) Cape Observations

This 11th mag spiral galaxy was discovered by Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "bright, round, gradually brighter in the middle, 80 arcsec across."

Published comments

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1956)

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)

Shobbrook (1966, Mon. Not. R. astr. Soc., Vol 131, p351-363) notes that this field galaxy to the Centaurus Cluster has V = 10.66, B-V = 0.96 and U-B = 0.36. It measures 3.25 by 1.66. He remarks: "the corrected colours are uncertain because of the low latitude (+12°), but they are definitely bluer than those of normal ellipticals, and the galaxy is probably a blue dwarf."

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 11.5 mag galaxy.

Burnham's Celestial Handbook

Burnham calls this a 11.6 mag elliptical galaxy in Centaurus, 2.8' x 1.5', pretty bright, pretty large, slightly elongated and gradually much brighter in the middle.

Modern observations

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

Hartung writes: "In a fine field sown with many stars is this conspicuous somewhat elliptical nebula about 2' across with very hazy edges and rising to a small bright nucleus . . 10.5cm shows the object plainly, a fairly bright yellwo star 5' following being a guide."

Steve Coe

Steve Coe, using a 17.5" f/4.5, notes: "Pretty bright, pretty large, little elongated."

Steve Coe, in "SACNEWS On-Line for May 1996", observing with a 17.5" f/4.5 Dobsonian, notes: NGC 4976 is pretty bright, pretty large, little elongated at 100X. It is located at 13 hr 08.6 and -49 30.

Brian Skiff

QBS: E type. T&B v=14.2 * is 1'.45 NW.

SGC: SAB(s)0-:

T&B: m13.5 * (15cm LCO) is V=14.2.

15cm - mod br and strongly concen gx @ 80x. 140x: rel vlg oval halo of

modlosfcbr 2'x1'.6 elong SSE-NNW. vbroadly concen until 15"x12" oval core

which has vstrong sharp concen to consp *ar nuc. m13.5 * W off halo. BS,

23Feb1990, LCO.

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf

2009 January 01

Sutherland (Middelfontein)

8-inch f/6 Dobsonian

Conditions: Clear, dark.

Near NGC 4945, so obvious that it was noticed while sweeping. At 48x it shows as a round glow, growing brighter to the middle. The little galaxy makes a triangle with an 8th mag star (due East) and a nearby 11th mag star.

2008 April 11

Date: 2008 April 11, 01:00 SAST, Friday morning

Location: Sutherland (town, Jurg's guest house)

Sky conditions: Dark, clear

Telescope: 12-inch f/4.9 Dobsonian

Eyepieces: 25mm Sirius Plossl, 60x, 46' fov & 10mm Sirius Plossl, 150x, 14/17' fov

Working on MSA chart 953, star hopping from Omega Centauri.

This galaxy lies 3.5 degrees southwest of Omega Centauri and just half a degree due east of NGC 4945. It is conventiently signposted by a bright star due east (HD 114102, V=7.8, 4.5 arcmin away). The galaxy itself is readily seen at 60x, appearing as a pretty bright, round, glow.

No field sketch was made.


A 15.5-inch shows it as small and round with a very bright centre. A prominent 9th magnitude star lies due east. There also seems to be some extended nebulosity due south, slightly further away from the galaxy than the 9th magnitude star. Nothing is plotted on Uranometria or the SAO charts, so it is possibly merely a faint asterism.

Magda Streicher

1997 April 05

Location: Campsite (23 16 South 29 26 East)

Sky conditions: 7 magnitude clear.

Instrument: Meade 8" (Super wide angle 18mm eyepiece)

Bright small roundish patch of light with some haziness around. Small but bright starlike nucleus. Medium starfield surround this galaxy.

(no date)

16-inch f/10 SCT (EP: 2-inch 32mm SW 127x 32' fov; 2-inch 14mm UW 290x 17' fov; 2-inch 8.8mm UW 462x 11' fov)

This small bright galaxy can be seen just to the east, forming a triangle with NGC 4945 and NGC 4945A. It is slightly elongated north to south and despite its smallness it has a bright star-like nucleus, which gradually fades away into this oval's haziness. No noticeable features are displayed although with high power wimps of soft haziness can be spot to the southern edge (462x). It is neatly rounded off with a bright 7.8 magnitude super white star situated 5' arc minutes to the east in the star-field. It is more or less 5' in size see it clear at a NW-SE direction and outstanding in appearance. With higher power the core get more smoother. 7.5 star about 5' towards east which is somewhat pull my eye away. Slightly haze edges. (Mag 10.1; size 5.4' x 3.3'; SB 13.1; PA 160)

Richard Ford

2012 August, 18th


Sky Conditions:The fainter parts of the Milky Way are barely visible.Haziness only visible on the horizon.Atmosphere stable with little interference.

Instrument:12-inch Dobsonian.

This galaxy's roundish shape is seen as a faint smudge of light.I have also located an 8.2 magnitude star west of this galaxy while towards the outskirts of this galaxy no areas of uneven brightness are observed.The central nucleus of this galaxy is brighter compared to the far outskirts of this galaxy and that the central core of this galaxy is slightly condensed.Chart:No.74, NSOG Vol.2.

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