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RA: 13h 08m 37.91s
Dec: +43° 44′ 14.8″
Con: Canes Venatici
Ch: MSA:610, U2:75, SA:7
Type: galaxy (AGN LINER-type), Sa
Mag: B=15.3, V=?
Size: 1.023′ x 0.794′
NGC 5003 is CGCG 217-013. The NGC position is 2 minutes of time and 2 degrees off. The RA error comes from WH who commented (copied into the Scientific Papers by Dreyer), "[Minute of time] forgot, but is 5, 6, or 7." Dreyer assumed "5," but the actual offset is closer to "7." There is a systematic offset in the other RAs that night of about -20s; corrected for that, the RA is close to the CGCG galaxy.
The Dec error originates in GC, or perhaps in CH's reduction of WH's data. Auwers has the correct declination, but JH either did not catch the difference, or made a transcription error. Another systematic error in Dec of +3' in WH's positions that night leads us closer to the correct Dec.
Personal note: this is a particularly important object for me as it was one of the first NGC puzzles that I solved by reference to an "original" publication, in this case, WH's Scientific Papers. I had been aware of the problem presented by this number since I ran across it in RC1 in the mid-60s. The RC1 solution -- adopted from earlier astronomers at Lick and Mt. Wilson -- "pick the nearest galaxy and give it the number," did not appeal to my aesthetic sense: Which galaxy had Herschel actually seen? The clue came when I found a copy of the Scientific Papers in the early or mid 1970s in the Astronomy Department's Peridier Library at the University of Texas at Austin. I found the entry for NGC 5003, and by re-reducing WH's observation and following up on his comment about the forgotten minute of time, I found the right galaxy.
That experience convinced me of the value of the historical literature in this work, so I became an amateur historian as well as a professional galaxy cataloguer.
Synonyms: H III-655
Discovered in 1787 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He called it "vF, pS, lbM." In the Notes to the 'Catalogue of a Second Thousand of New Nebulae and Cluster of Stars' a comment reads: "Not found by Bigourdan."
The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a galaxy. Their coded description reads R,SLDIF,ALMSTEL.
The Messier objects
The Bennett objects
The Caldwell list
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