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RA: 01h 34m 44s
Dec: +30° 13′ 58″
Ch: MSA:146, U2:91, SA:4
Ref: NGC/IC, Archinal&Hynes (2003)
Type: stars (three)
Mag: B=?, V=14
NGC 603 is a triple star found by Lord Rosse. It's position was unfortunately not well-determined, so there has been some puzzle over its identity. Dreyer, in the Notes to IC1, claimed that he could only see a faint star in the place of NGC 603. (I've been unable to identify this star with any certainty. One candidate is at 01 31 30.4, +29 55 58, B1950.0, while Bigourdan has two observations of another at 01 31 44.7, +29 56 42.)
However, Lord Rosse's description makes the identification certain, even without a good position: "A small nebula or cluster with 3 stars in it. It is about 8 arcmin south-southpreceding a double star whose components are of the 11th magnitude." This is very close to the actual distance of the double from the triple star -- but there is no nebulosity or cluster associated with the triple. I suspect that the discovery was made on a night of relatively poor seeing, leading to the impression of accompanying nebulosity.
The B1950.0 positions of the three stars, all from GSC, are
*1 01 31 54.54 +29 58 37.1 = GSC 02293-00972 *2 01 31 54.85 +29 58 45.4 = GSC 02293-00966 *3 01 31 55.37 +29 58 31.6 = GSC 02293-00998.
I've adopted the mean value for the main table.
Observations with the 72-inch f/8.8 speculum telescope at Birr Castle: Announced this object on November 29, 1850, described as "a small nebula or cluster with 3 stars in it."
The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a nonexistent object. Their coded description reads KN IN 598 ZWICKY.
The Messier objects
The Bennett objects
The Caldwell list
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