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NGC 5970 (13,176 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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NGC 5970

NGC 5970, LEDA 55665, MCG+02-40-006, UGC 9943, II 76, GC 4122

RA: 15h 38m 30.12s
Dec: +12° 11′ 10.9″

Con: Serpens
Ch: MSA:716, U2:199, SA:15


(reference key)

Type: galaxy, SBbc

Mag: B=12.2, V=?

Size: 3.019′ x 2.137′
PA: 88°

Historical observations

William Herschel (c.1784)

Synonyms: H II-076

Discovered in 1784 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He called it "pB pL lE gbM r."

Published comments

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 12.5 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads S,SLEL,HISBCT, MANY KNYTIW ARMS.

Modern observations

Steve Coe

Steve Coe, observing with a 13" f/5.6, notes: "Pretty bright, pretty large, elongated 2x1 and bright middle at 135X."

Contemporary observations

Richard Ford

2009 July,18 Saturday


Instrument:12"Dobsonian Reflector Telescope.

Sky Conditions:The fainter parts of the Milky Way are barely visible.

Transparency of the Sky:Haziness only visible on the horizon.

Seeing:Atmosphere stable with little interference.

Limiting Magnitude:4.9.

First Impression:Galaxy.

Location:Serpens Caput.


Chart Number:No.155(Extract taken out of "Star Gazer's Deep Space Atlas").

Brightness:Extremely faint.

Brightness Profile:Low Surface Brightness.

Challenge Rating:Difficult to observe in a small telescope under dark skies,but best seen in a large telescope.

Overall Shape:Well-defined shape,it is slightly oval.Resembles an elliptical galaxy.

What does the galactic nucleus look like? Oval.

Any stars very near or within the galaxy? There are few faint 7th to 9th magnitude stars close to this elliptical galaxy.

Are there darker areas within the galaxy? No,darker regions are observed.

Are there areas of uneven brightness? No.

Favourite lists

Lacaille's catalogue

The Messier objects

Dunlop's catalogue

The Bennett objects

The Caldwell list

Named DSOs

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