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RA: 14h 30m 32.68s
Dec: +14° 01′ 22″
Ch: MSA:719, U2:197, SA:14
Ref: NGC/IC, SIMBAD
Type: galaxy (in pair), Sbc
Mag: B=14.1, V=13.3
Size: 1′ x 0.7′
NGC 5648 = NGC 5649. There are only two "bright" galaxies in this area. The slightly brighter, northwestern of the two was found by WH, the southeastern by JH who also remeasured his father's nebula. During his first set of observations of the area in 1887, Bigourdan mistook NGC 5649 for a new nebula and published it in his first list of "novae." The correct position measured by Bigourdan is about 2 arcmin from JH's (used in GC and NGC), so Dreyer also assumed it was a new object and assigned it its own number in the NGC, 5648.
Bigourdan remeasured the object in 1894 (his later position is within 2 arcsec of the earlier), and realized his mistake. He says, "This, which was mistaken for a new nebula [in 1887], is evidently III 645 [= NGC 5649]; the position is slightly erroneous in GC and NGC."
Unfortunately, the modern catalogues have been confused by the extra number and by JH's positions (which are off 2-3 arcmin to the southeast), assigning NGC 5648 to the northwestern object, and using NGC 5649 for the southeastern. This second object of the pair is actually NGC 5655 (which see for its own problems in the modern catalogues).
The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 14.0 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads S,R,HISB,KNY,PD.
The Messier objects
The Bennett objects
The Caldwell list
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