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Dunlop 262 (15,590 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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The Furious Dancer

Dunlop 262, NGC 6744, ESO 104-42, LEDA 62836, SGC 190501-6356.2, Bennett 120, Caldwell 101, The Furious Dancer, h 3776, GC 4464

RA: 19h 09m 45.3s
Dec: −63° 51′ 21″

Con: Pavo
Ch: MSA:1520, U2:456, SA:26


(reference key)

Type: galaxy

Mag: B=9.24, V=8.25

Size: 13.18′ x 8.317′
PA: 15°

Image gallery

Photos  (2)

Select a photo and click the button to view

Historical observations

Dunlop, James (1827)

James Dunlop discovered it from Paramatta, New South Wales, and included it as No. 262 in his catalogue of 1827. Using a 9-inch f/12 telescope, he observed it on 3 occasions and described it as "a pretty large very faint nebula, about 5' or 6' diameter, slightly bright towards the centre; a minute star is north of the nebula, and two stars of the 7th mag preceding."

John Herschel (1847) Cape Observations

Observed by Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "pretty bright, round, after first very gradually, then suddenly very much brighter in the middle; total diam. 2', but that of the bright part 15 arcseconds." The second observation was recorded as "bright, round, gradually pretty much brighter in the middle, 60 arcseconds, resolvable."

NGC/IC Dreyer (1888, 1895, 1908)

The NGC description reads: "Considerably bright, considerably large, round, fading very gradually, suddenly very much brighter in the middle, mottled."

Published comments

Stewart (1908) Ann.Harv.Coll.Obs., 60 (6)

Table IV: !! spiral, complex in structure, diam 10'.

Reynolds, J.H. (1921)

Reynolds, J.H. (1921) The spiral nebulae in the zone –40° to –90° (from the Franklin-Adams Plates). MNRAS, 81, 598.

p 600: "The following spirals call for special description on account of their size:

Faint, large, almost at right angles to line of sight, small nucleus"

Table, p601. 12x10, "! F, BN"

Shapley, H. & Paraskevopoulos, J.S. (1940)

Shapley, H. & Paraskevopoulos, J.S. (1940) Southern clusters and galaxies. Harvard Obs. Bull., No.914, 6-8.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1956)

De Vaucouleurs (1956) "Survey of bright galaxies south of -35° declination", Mem. Mount Stromlo, No. 13. (photographic study, plates taken with the 30-inch Reynolds reflector, 20-inch diaphragm). In the Notes to the catalogue: "one of the largest barred spirals, many nebulous knots and emission objects in arms; has an outlying cloud 10'.5 n p at end of vF anomalous arm. Is SBbc 20' x 11.4' in HB 914, 1940.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 10.0 mag galaxy.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975)

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.

p 590: "The present data on nearby groups may nevertheless help to answer the simpler question:Are there isolated galaxies? … out of the 60 galaxies in this objectively selected sample, only eight have not been associated with one of the 55 nearby groups, viz. NGC 404, NGC 1313, NGC 2903, NGC 3109, NGC 3521, NGC 6744, NGC 6946 & IC 5152. In addition there is a possibility that a few galaxies, such as NGC 1316, NGC 4594, NGC 4826 are not really members of the groups (For I, Vir Y, CVn I) to which they have been tentatively assigned. Furthermore, the reality of the NGC 5128 chain as a physical unit may be questionable; but then it is difficult to know where to stop in this 'dismemberment' of loose groups, and the local outcome of an overconservative attitude would be to exclude from consideration all but a few rich clusters and dense groups… on the other hand, several of the eight supposedly isolated galaxies might yupon further investigation turn out to be members of some of the nearer groups; in particular, NGC 404, NGC 3109 and IC 1512 should be examined for possible membership in the Local Group. Other (more remote) possibilities are NGC 1569, IC 342 and perhaps some heavily obscured systems as yet unrecognized. For example, IC 10, although long suspected, was only recently established as a Local Group member (Roberts 1962, de Vaucouleurs and Ables 1965). … to the writer's knowledge, NGC 1313 and NGC 6744 in the southern sky, and probably NGC 2903 and NGC 6946 in the northern sky, are truly isolated galaxies not associated with any nearby group, although both are in the larger Local Supercluster."

Laustsen, S., Madsen, C. & West, R.M. (1987)

Exploring the Southern Sky: A pictorial atlas from the European Southern Observatory. Springer-Verlag.

Scanned image on disk. [1987EtSS.........0L], plate 28.

Ryder & Dopita (1993)

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: "The delicate nature of its multitude of spiral arms make NGC 6774 one of the prettiest galaxies in the whole sky. Although it spans some 16' in diameter, we felt it so worthy of inclusion in our atlas that we elected to attempt mosaicking. Three images, each overlapping the adjacent one by about 50 percent, have been registered and appropriately scaled in intensity in order to produce each of the mosaics, which cover a field of some 17.5' x 10.3'. The vignetted corners of the component images have been masked out, and the hydrogen-alpha and red continuum images are presented separately to preserve a similar scale to the other images in this atlas."

Photo index

Photo Index by Jim Lucyk: Sky&Tel. 7/80 p24, Astronomy mag. 1/84 p22, Astronomy mag. 12/79 p9, Deep Sky #12 Fa85 (back cover), Astronomy mag. 7/87 p94, Burnhams V3 p1357, Universe Guide to Stars & Planets (Ridpath & Tirion) p194, Galaxies (Ferris,1982) p109.

Modern observations

Sanford (1989) Observing the Constellations

Sanford calls is a large barred spiral with a low surface brighteness. He notes that only the nuclear area is seen in smaller telescopes. A 10-inch shows the many HII regions and OB associations in the galaxy. The extent of the graceful arms may be traced by these small groupings for about 180 degrees in each arm, especially to the north of the nucleus.

Hartung, E.J. (1968) Astron.Obj.South.Tel

Hartung, observing with a 12-inch, describes it as a "large irregularly elliptical faintly luminous haze more than 5' across, with some faint stars involved. The centre, about 30 arc seconds wide, is bright and appears granular." He notes that in good conditions, it is easily seen with a 4-inch telescope.

ASV Journal (1971)

ASV Journal Vol 24 No 3 June 1971: "just visible in 3-inch."


A 4-inch telescope shows it as a bright oval patch about 2' across, surrounded by a very faint glow. A 10-inch scope shows it as a large, oval halo of greenish nebulosity with a bright nuclear glow. On dark nights, the spiral structure of the halo is plainly visible. Several faint foreground stars can be seen in the halo. Larger telescopes show striking detail in the galaxy's arms, including several bright knots of nebulosity and a very obvious spiral pattern.

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf


In a 15.5-inch telescope at 220x, the galaxy is clearly visible as an extended but faint, regular, elliptical patch. It looks somewhat like a small, faint globular cluster, as you see a bright, extended nucleus rapidly fading outwards. As one observer put it, you can see something is there, but you can't make out further detail.

1997 April 05

1997 April 05, 01:00 SAST, 11x80 tripod-mounted binoculars. A delicate nebulous presence with a 9.5m star north, not shown on the Uranometrias. Probably wouldn't have seen it but for the chart's precise position.

1997 September 20

1997-09-20, Sutherland (Karoo), SAAO plateau. 11x80 tripod-mounted binoculars. Skies excellent.

Large, ghostly haze, over 10 arcmin in size. Athough easy once found, it remains a challenge because of its low surface brightness.

1997 November 3

1997 November 3/4, Jonkershoek. 11x80 tripod-mounted, seeing 4, transparency 3, darkness 3, lim mag = 6.0 (naked eye, pole) "A faint presence, best seen with averted vision. Not round. Has a small star on its W-NW edge. An easy starhop from bright naked-eye stars."

Magda Streicher

(no date)

Location: Campsite (South 23 16 East 29 26).

Sky conditions: Clear, steadiness good.

Instrument: Meade 8 inch, Super wide-angle, 18mm eyepiece; 36.2' fov

DSO Report N

Faint, large, irregular galaxy with a sudden bright nucleus. Elongated (20 x 15) from north east to south west, with a hint of maybe very faint dust extended areas. One medium star proceeding to the northwest edge.

(no date)

16-inch f/10 SCT

Large 15' soft nebula in a N-S direction. It show of a star like nucleus, which with high power growing larger and brighter but not so overwhelming any more (size 1'). Two soft outer layers, which could be arms to the N-S, with splinter faint stars on the foreground of the galaxy. (Mag 9.1; size 25.0' x 15.0'; SB 13.9 mag; PA 15 degrees.)

(no date)

16-inch f/10 SCT (EP: 2-inch 40mm SW 102x 26' fov; 2-inch 32mm SW 127x 32' fov; 2-inch 14mm UW 290x 17' fov; 2-inch 8.8mm UW 462x 11' fov)

Although faint this galaxy display a soft envelope around a just brighter nucleus. Exhibits an oval shape in a northeast to southwest direction, with a hint of very faint hazy extended areas. To the north western exterior a ring of 10th magnitude stars can be observed which shows into the direction of NGC 6744A which lies 5' arc minutes further in the same direction. This small galaxy could only be detected as a small misty glow by using averted vision (462x) The twin galaxies IC18051 and IC 31279 are situated 18' arc minutes southeast, which I could not confirm and which might possibly be satellite systems.

2006 June 24


12-inch f/10 SCT (96x, 218x)

Conditions: Good

This is an outstanding large, easy seen galaxy. The estimate size as indicated is correct seeing with 218x and measure against the field of view. It show off a small nucleus which became slightly more elongated N-S in higer power. The soft outer edge is also became much more elongated in the same direction N-S. With even higher power the core became much more haze and a few faint stars can be seen on its surface. A 11Magnitude double star on the SE edge in the faint haze edge of the galaxy. Three brighter stars about 11Magnitude can be seen on the northern edge of the galaxy. A slighlty more brightning on it surace moving out from the nucleus and extends outwards north to just between two of the three stars mention.

Richard Ford

2015, June, 20th



Sky Conditions:The fainter parts of the Milky Way are barely visible.Haziness only visible on the horizon.Atmosphere stable with little interference.

Instrument:12-inch Dobsonian.

This spiral galaxy has an oval shape and is well defined with extremely faint extensions seen all over this galaxy which is just on the brink of visibility.In fact around this galaxy the central galactic nucleus is moderately bright lighting up this galaxy and that the galactic nucleus looks like a faint smudge of pale greyish light.The nucleus of this galaxy is strongly condensed as a pale halo.This galaxy measures 5.7'x 4'. Chart No.280,NSOG Vol.3

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