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RA: 02h 03m 45.1s
Dec: +38° 15′ 32.7″
Ch: MSA:123, U2:92, SA:4
Type: galaxy, Sc
Mag: B=14.23, V=13.47
Size: 3.019′ x 0.645′
NGC 801. Four other galaxies (NGC 19, NGC 21, NGC 7831, and NGC 7836 ; see these and NGC 6 for more discussion) discovered earlier in the evening of 20 September 1885 by Lewis Swift share a common offset in Swift's positions from the true positions of +1m 10s in RA and +8m 8s in Dec. If we accept the identity of NGC 801 as given by most catalogues (it is a large edgewise spiral on the northeast edge of Abell 262), then Swift's position for this object is about -19 sec and -0.9 arcmin off, more in line with Swift's usual precision (or lack of it). Swift mentions a "double star close following" which may be the faint double near the southeast end of the spindle. However, both stars are roughly at 17th magnitude on the POSS1; could Swift have seen them?
Well, there is no other candidate galaxy near aside from NGC 797, and there are no doubles anywhere near it. So, while the identity of NGC 801 is somewhat uncertain, I will stick with it for now.
Incidentally, this galaxy almost got an IC number as well. Searching for NGC 801, Bigourdan rediscovered this object -- it is number 473 in his fifth list of new nebulae. The first four lists were published in time for them to be included in the NGC or the IC's. The fifth list was not. Consequently, it has received almost no attention in the subsequent literature.
The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 13.5 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads EON,BM,DIF.
Photo Index by Jim Lucyk: Sky&Tel. 12/86 p585.
15cm - tff @ 80x. BS, 27Nov1992, Anderson Mesa.
The Messier objects
The Bennett objects
The Caldwell list
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