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Type: galaxy (AGN LINER-type), SBa:
Mag: B=12.8, V=?
Size: 7.585′ x 2.818′
Synonyms: H II-253
Discovered in 1784 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He called it "pB, Pl, E, bM, r."
The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 13.0 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads SB,LGDKPCH FO ENDBAR BAR W/DKLNS,BDDIFARMS,MBRIGHTERBAR.
Steve Coe, using a 13.1" f/5.6, notes: ""NGC 660 Pretty bright, pretty large, elongated 3 X 1 in PA 0, bright middle. At 135X this galaxy grows in length with averted vision."
Observer: Lew Gramer; Your skills: Intermediate; Date and UT of Observation: 1997-11-29/30, 03:40 UT; Location: Miles Standish State Forest, Carver, MA, USA (41N); Site classification: rural; Limiting magnitude: 6.6 (zenith), 6.2 (in S); Seeing: 2 of 10 - excellent; Moon up: no; Instrument: 8" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain, fork equatorial, 8x50mm finder; Magnification: 80x, 170x, 340x; Filters used: None; Object: NGC660; Category: Spiral Galaxy [SB(s)aP]; Constellation: Psc; Data: mag 11.2 size 8.3'x3.2'; RA/DE: 01h43m +13o39m
Description: This relatively bright NGC spiral was picked up tonight as follows: I began by following the pointer of alpha and beta Ari to eta Psc, the bright star nearest M74 (see previous observation this evening). Forming the S vertex of an equilateral triangle with eta and M74 is blue-white finder star 101 Psc. Eta and 101 in turn point S a finder field or so to a contrasty (blue and orange) pair of mag. 7 stars. Less than 1o beyond this pair is another fainter pair of mag. 8 stars with PA 90o (oriented E-W). Switching to a wide-angle (80x) eyepiece in the main scope, an averted-vision haze became apparent immediately E of the Emost of these two stars. At higher powers (first 170x, then with difficulty 340x), this haze was easily confirmed even becoming occasionally visible to direct vision. However, even yet it required averted vision to see elongation, and no further detail could be seen at any power (in what is normally a fine sight for larger apertures). Still, I was sufficiently encouraged by my success with n660 tonight, to sweep up a whole group of other serious Challenge Galaxies in such a small aperture... (See later observing logs.)
Observing site: Little Bennett Regional Park
[1h 43m 0s, 13° 38m 0s] A large (10') galaxy with very low surface brighness. No distinct nucleus. Sd? Internet: A "Polar ring" galaxy, the apparent merger of two galaxies. Sd is not far off the mark.
The Messier objects
The Bennett objects
The Caldwell list
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