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Type: galaxy, S0
Mag: B=12.56, V=11.54
Size: 1.995′ x 1.698′
Discovered by Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "pF, R, 20 arcseconds, a vS almost invisible star S.f., second of four." The four object mentioned are NGC 6872, NGC 6876, NGC 6877 & NGC 6880.
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).
The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 13.0 mag galaxy.
Sandage (1975(Astrophysical Journal, 202, 563-582) notes that this galaxy is a member of the Pavo Group. Members include NGC 6872, NGC 6876, NGC 6877, NGC 6880, IC 4960, IC 4967 & IC 4970. NGC 6782 & IC 4970 are background members.
Bergwall et.al. (1978(Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. 33, 243-255) gives this galaxy's B-magnitude in the Johnson system as 13.2. They remark that NGC 6876, ESO 073-IG 35, is "In pair with ESO 073-IG 36 Associated (?) with ESO 073-IG 32 [NGC 6872], ESO 073-IG 33 [IC 4970], ESO 073-IG 37 [NGC 6880] and ESO 073-IG 38 [IC 4981] The velocity difference gives little support to the interaction interpretation of IG 35, 36. Vo = 3803 kms-1. Large outer envelope."
G. de Vaucouleurs ("Galaxies and the Universe", Chapter 14 - Nearby Groups of Galaxies) notes that the four brightest members of the NGC 6876 Group are NGC 6943, IC 5052, NGC 6876 & NGC 6808.
Jack Bennett wrote in MNASSA, Vol 38, No 7-10, October 1979, p45: "NGC 6872 has recently been found to probably be the largest spiral galaxy known . . Readers may be interested to know that under favourable conditions this distant object can be seen with a 20cm Celestron telescope. With a magnification of 80 it appears as a faint irregular blur which apparently represents the luminous central region. There is a 9th magnitude foreground star a few seconds of arc preceding the centre. Attempts to glimpse this galaxy with telescopes of smaller aperture have been unsuccessful. About 7 or 8 minutes of arc South following the object is a smaller, roughly circular blur identified as galaxy NGC 6876. This is more easily seen and must undoubtedly be brighter than the 13th magnitude given in the RNGC."
15cm - brtst of grp, mod br @ 80x. 140x: forms circlet w/sev m12-14 *s, is on
W side, has m13 * immed NW just inside halo. mod even concen to vsm
circ core. brtst * in circlet (on E side) is m12,12 pair of 8" sep.
BS, 8Nov1993, LCO.
The Messier objects
The Bennett objects
The Caldwell list
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