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RA: 16h 21m 48.6s
Dec: −02° 17′ 2.8″
Ch: MSA:1301, U2:246, SA:15
Type: galaxy, Sc
Mag: B=13.2, V=?
Size: 4.677′ x 1.905′
Synonyms: H II-402
Discovered in 1785 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He called it "F, cL, extended sp-nf, r, 3' long, 2' broad."
vF, 3' long, E 45deg approx; spiral with alm.stell.N. plate poor.
F, 4'x1.25', E 55deg, spiral, lEN.
The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 12.0 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads S,EL,VDIF,BM,BKNARMS ARMS IN DIF DSK.
Included in the CCD-atlas of Ryder S.D. & Dopita M.A. (1993) "An H-alpha Atlas of Nearby Southern Spiral Galaxies" Astrophys.J.Suppl. 88, 415. They note: "Even at an inclination approaching 70 degrees, the disk of NGC 6118 has quite a low surface brightness. It does, however, have one of the more regular and symmetric spiral patterns of all the galaxies in this atlas, and the H II regions trace these quite beautifully. The two major arms start just outside the tiny bulge and can be followed for a full rotation each."
Observer: Dave Mitsky
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 7/26/98 02:45 UT
Location of site: Stellafane ATM Convention, Springfield, Vermont (Lat 43dN, Elev )
Site classification: Rural
Sky darkness: 6.5 Limiting magnitude
Seeing: 9 1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: 8" f/7 Newtonian
Magnification: 65, 84, 119x
Object(s): NGC 6118
Data: mag 11.5 size 4.3'x1.3'
Position: RA 16:21.8 DEC -02d:17'
I was finally able to log NGC 6118, the so-called Blinking Galaxy, from the dark skies of the 1998 Stellafane ATM Convention. (I have been unable to positively log this object using 17 and 20" classical Cassegrains in light polluted south central Pennsylvania.) Using averted vision and noted amateur astronomer and author Phil Harrington's 8" f/7 Newtonian and a 22mm Panoptic, 17mm Ploessl, and 12mm Nagler I noted an extremely dim, elongated, amorphous glow. Jiggling the scope helped me to see this somewhat inclined spiral galaxy. The best view, if one can call it that, was at 84x with the 17mm Ploessl.
Tom Lorenzin, in the e-version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "12.2M; 4.5' x 2' extent; large, very soft slash, axis oriented NE-SW, very little brighter center; TOUGH!."
Steve Coe, observing with a 13" f/5.6, notes: "Pretty faint, pretty large, somewhat brighter in the middle and elongated 2.5 X 1 in PA 60 at 100X. Averted vision helps with this low surface brightness object."
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