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RA: 20h 51m 4s
Dec: +31° 49′ 42″
Ch: MSA:1169, U2:120, SA:9
Ref: SIMBAD, Corwin (2004)
Type: supernova remnant
Mag: B=?, V=?
NGC 6974 was found by the fourth earl of Rosse, and is clearly part of the Veil Nebula (see NGC 6960 for general comments on this huge supernova remnant). However, LdR's nominal position for it falls in a pretty empty patch of sky inside the main loop, well away from any bright nebulosity. Bigourdan found no nebulosity here, either.
RNGC, however, suggests that the number applies to a moderately bright patch on the northern side of the loop, southwest of NGC 6979, just a degree north of the nominal position. This is as good an idea as any about the object, but LdR's description does not match very well. LdR simply says, "Nebulous *, neby cE pf, RA = 20h 45.5m, NPD = 59d 50'+-." The part of the Veil that I've chosen has no clear star associated with it, and is not obviously extended in any particular direction, let alone east-west. I've marked the identification uncertain.
Another, less likely, possibility is that N6974 is one of the 20 or so observations of NGC 6960 made with the 72-inch reflector. In this case, the position error would be in RA (5 minutes too large), and the description would have to read "cE ns." The star would be Kappa Cygni which JH took for the position of NGC 6960. I offer this as just a possibility, however; as I said, I'm inclined to think that the RNGC identification is more likely to be correct.
Bailey, examining a Bruce plate (Harvard Annals, Vol 72, No 2), describes it as "not seen [on two plates.]"
The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a diffuse nebula.
The Messier objects
The Bennett objects
The Caldwell list
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