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Type: stars (two)
Mag: B=?, V=?
NGC 5856 = ADS 9505 = SAO 101379 is a double star. WH described the object this way: "A star 7.6m enveloped in extensive milky nebulosity. Another star 7m is perfectly free from such appearance." JH on the other hand, noted "A star of fully 6m, with a supposed nebulous appearance about it, but of whose reality I cannot satisfy myself, as it `blinks' with the star behind the wire." D'Arrest made three observations of the star, but only suspected the nebulosity twice. Finally, Bigourdan saw no nebulosity around the star on two different nights.
It is hard to reconcile WH's observation with a close double star. But there is certainly no nebulosity around the star now. The spectrum of the brighter component is that of a normal A2 V star with no emission noted. So, N5856 goes into the table as just a close double star.
Synonyms: H IV-071
Discovered in 1791 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He called it "a star 7-6m enveloped in extensive milky nebulosity. Another star 7m is perfectly free from such appearance."
Both Herschels and d'Arrest described this object, with some uncertainty, as a nebulous sixth-mag star. Bigourdan, however, reports no nebulosity about the star.
The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a nonexistent object. Their coded description reads NF S.
The Messier objects
The Bennett objects
The Caldwell list
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