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Mag: B=?, V=?
NGC 5242 probably never existed. JH saw it only once, and seemed unsure about its reality. His description reads, "eF, vL; fills the whole field. Strongly suspected; yet a doubt remains." His declination is followed by a double colon which further suggests a problem with the observation. However, under his entry for NGC 4808, seen during the same sweep, he says, "Sky perfectly clear." Also, his measured declination, though marked uncertain, is appropriate for the sweep.
Since there are no galaxies in the area matching JH's description (all are too small), nor are there any one hour preceding or following, or within two+- degrees of the nominal declination, this may well be a visual illusion of some sort, perhaps caused by scattered light in his telescope.
The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a nonexistent object. Their coded description reads NF DC.
The Messier objects
The Bennett objects
The Caldwell list
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