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Full database:

Entire DOCdb database of 18,816 objects.



NGC 6217 (13,792 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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NGC 6217

NGC 6217, Arp 185, LEDA 58477, MCG+13-12-008, UGC 10470, I 280, GC 4236

RA: 16h 32m 38.68s
Dec: +78° 11′ 54″

Con: Ursa Minor
Ch: MSA:1046, U2:11, SA:3


(reference key)

Type: galaxy (HII), Sb

Mag: B=12.1, V=?

Size: 3.09′ x 2.57′
PA: 159°

Historical observations

William Herschel (c.1784)

Synonyms: H I-280

Discovered in 1797 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He called it "vB, cL, lE, lbM. The greatest brightness confined to a small point."

Published comments

Arp (1966)

Listed as No. 185 in Arp's "Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies" (Astrophysical Journal Supplement, vol. 14, 1966.) He remarks "Condensed nucleus. Faint outer arms less curved than inner arms."


A supernova erupted in this galaxy in 1983 (15.1pg)

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975) NGC 6643 Group

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975) Nearby groups of galaxies. In: Kuiper, G. (ed) Stars and Stellar Systems. Volume 9: Galaxies and the Universe. Chapter 14, p557.

Foreground NGC 6503; background NGC 6621.

Brightest members: 6643 ( B(0) = 11.97), 6217 ( B(0) = 12.17), 6340 ( B(0) = 12.21), 6412 ( B(0) = 12.62), 6654 ( B(0) = 12.80).

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 12.5 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads S,R,HISB,COMPLEXSSTR PD.

Sandage & Tammann (1975)

Sandage, A. & Tammann, G. A. (1975) Steps toward the Hubble constant. V - The Hubble constant from nearby galaxies and the regularity of the local velocity field. ApJ, 196, 313-328. [1975ApJ...196..313S]

Sandage and Tammann (1975, Astrophysical Journal, 196, 313-328) includes this galaxy in the NGC 6643 Group. Members include NGC 6217, NGC 6340, NGC 6412, NGC 6643 & NGC 6654.

Sandage, A. et al. (1975) Galaxies and the Universe

G. de Vaucouleurs ("Galaxies and the Universe", Chapter 14 - Nearby Groups of Galaxies) notes that the five brightest members of the NGC 6643 group are NGC 6643, NGC 6217, NGC 6340, NGC 6412 & NGC 6654. NGC 6503 is a foreground member, and NGC 6621 is a background member.

Modern observations

Walter Scott Houston

Houston notes that this galaxy in Ursa Minor is 11th mag, "and I estimate it to be about 1' long. This spiral should be within reach of any scope 8 inches or larger, but on good nights I have found it with a 4-inch."

Tom Lorenzin

Tom Lorenzin, in the e-version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "12M; 1.8' x 1.2' extent; bright oblong with little brighter center; axis oriented NNW-SSE; 14M stellar nucleus."

Contemporary observations

Tom Bryant

2011 6 7 0:49:23

Observing site: Little Bennett Regional Park

Telescope: C-11

[16h 32m 36s, 78 12m 0s] Small, bright nucleus, uniform elliptical envelop. Sc? B: Sc.

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