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Deep Sky Observer's Companion – the online database

 

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NGC 6551

NGC 6551

History and Accurate Positions for the NGC/IC Objects (Corwin 2004)

NGC 6551 refers to an object found by Leavenworth in July of 1885. He has left us a vivid sketch showing what looks like a globular cluster placed exactly between two moderately bright stars. The position on the sketch cover matches that published in the AJ list (18 02, -29 34 for equinox 1890), but there is nothing in the area that matches the sketch. The only other notes on the sketch besides the position and Leavenworth's initials read, "Drawn July 6 from sketch July 7 '85. Power 500+-." The dates are not mistakes -- the date "drawn" really does precede the date "sketched." One must be wrong.

Andris and Wolfgang have taken N6551 to be the asterism of half a dozen stars near Leavenworth's position. But they do not match his sketch at all. The nearest globular cluster is NGC 6522, and while that might be seen as "vF, vS, R, rr" at -29 degrees from Leander McCormick, the stars flanking it do not correspond with those shown on the sketch.

So, another mysterious L-M object.

Published comments

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a nonexistent object. Their coded description reads NF S.

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