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NGC 6188 (13,876 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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Fire Bird Nebula

NGC 6188, Ced 136a, ESO 226-19, Rim Nebula, Fire Bird Nebula, h 3640, GC 4223

RA: 16h 40m 5.8s
Dec: −48° 39′ 44″

Con: Ara
Ch: MSA:1481, U2:407, SA:22


(reference key)

Type: bright nebula

Mag: B=?, V=?

Size: 20′ x 12′
PA: ?

Image gallery

Photos  (3)

Select a photo and click the button to view

Historical observations

Dunlop, James (1827)

The open cluster associated with this nebula, NGC 6193, was discovered by James Dunlop, observing from Paramatta, New South Wales with a 9-inch f/12 telescope. He included it as No. 413 in his catalogue of 1827. From his description, is could be concluded that he saw the nebulosity as well: "A cluster of small stars, with a bright star in the preceding side. A very considerable branch or tail proceeds from the north side, which joins a very large cluster."

John Herschel

Sir John Herschel observed it at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "The brightest part of a very large, faint, diffused, branching nebula, which involves in its N.f. part the star Brisbane 5789, and extends into the cluster Dunlop 413, which it in part surrounds. No doubt about the nebula, which in the brightest part of it precedes the cluster about 1 minute of time. The following stars behind the double star, and quite free of nebula. I presume the neb and cluster to be unconnected."

Published comments

Cederblad, S. (1946) [VII/231]

Ced 136a (NGC 6188)

Position (1900): RA 16 32.2, Dec - 48 49

Star: ?

Spectrum of nebula: (not classified)

Classification: Nebulae without definite relation to certain stars - Background veil of a nebulous region (eg. the Taurus veil)

Size: (not given)

Notes: "Ced 136 Nebulous field discovered by John Herschel in 1836. Ced 136 a = NGC 6188 = GC 4223 = h 3640 The general nebulous background."

Burnham's Celestial Handbook

Burnham writes: "A wonderful field of bright and dark nebulosity ... The brightest portion was discovered by John Herschel in 1836, and has the form of a very irregular triangle, measuring abour 20' x 12'. On the northeast side, near the apex, is located the galactic cluster NGC 6193, whose giant stars supply the illumination for the entire cloud ... the whole unearthly picture is strongly reminiscent of the famous Horsehead in Orion ... Gum found that the group is merely the centre of a vast nebulosity which has a full diameter of over three degrees."

Photo index

Photo Index by Jim Lucyk: Burnhams V1 p240, Sky&Tel. 5/62 p245.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a diffuse nebula.

Modern observations

Sanford (1989) Observing the Constellations

Sanford writes: "There is a bright-edged nebulosity which is made difficult to see by the 6th magnitude h4876."

Hartung, E.J. (1968)

Hartung notes: "This region of the Milky Way is obscured by dark diffuse and also faintly luminous nebular material, so that the field is only thinly scattered with rather faint stars. A fairly bright star 20' southwest of the centre of the bright cluster NGC 6193 is involved in faint nebulosity about 100 arcsec across which extends irregularly towards the cluster . . A clear dark night and good aperture are needed for this object."

Harrington, Phil

Phil Harrington (1990, Touring the Universe through Binoculars) writes "To the southwest of NGC 6193 is a large region of bright and dark interstellar clouds spanning more than three degrees. The central portion of this nebula is catalogued at NGC 6188. It will prove extremely difficult to spot visually, either through binoculars or a telescope, even under optimum conditions."

Contemporary observations

Magda Streicher

(no date)

Alldays (22.50S, 20.12E, 770m).

12-inch f/10 SCT (218x)

Interesting mixed bright and dark nebulosity, will go back to this one with a sketch.

2006 May 30


16-inch f/10 SCT (127x, 290x)

Round dark area more or less 10' in size. It ends off with a slightly lighter shade of nebulosity N-E to SW on the SE side of the dark nebula. From there the cluster NGC 6193 spray out further to the SE. A lovely long string of faint stars started at the north of the dark area running towards the west and prolong to the south. The whole area span about 30' in size.

Favourite lists

Lacaille's catalogue

The Messier objects

Dunlop's catalogue

The Bennett objects

The Caldwell list

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