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Thread: Object of the Week May 5, 2013 – NGC 6052

  1. #1
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    Feb 2012

    Object of the Week May 5, 2013 – NGC 6052

    NGC 6052 (NGC 6064), VV 86, Arp 209, Mrk 297


    RA: 16 05 13
    DEC: +20 32 31
    Size: ~0.7’x0.4’
    Mag: 14.1V, 13.3B
    SB: 11.6

    If you open a star map or planetarium software you first see lots of circles and numbers over the position of NGC 6052 – a sure sign of an interesting object.

    The confusion began within the NGC. Albert Marth counts as the discoverer in the year of 1864. He uses the 48” (popular aperture ) Lassell Reflector in Malta. But William Herschel noticed a nebula with the same DEC but with 2’ difference in RA – NGC 6064 – 80 years before.

    In both cases the NGC listed two objects. First modern catalog which listed the galaxy as interacting galaxies was as often Vorontsov-Velyaminov with the number 86. ARP listed the galaxy as number 209 “Irregularities, absorption and resolution – chaotic with loops”. Chaotic is the right expression because it was not clear what this object was. Alloin and Duflot supposed a collision. The HST showed strong HII regions and knots of star bursts.

    The very small galaxy could easily be seen with an 8” telescope. Bigger telescopes showed the chaotic structure. Lots of knots spread over the small but bright ~0.7’x0.4’ area. The challenge is to see and separate these knots. Helping charts and pictures are shown below.

    "NGC 6052 - A collision of two late spirals; Alloin, D. & Duflot, R."



    sketch with 27", 586x-837x, Seeing II, NELM 6m5+


    Clear Skies, uwe

    27" f/4,2

  2. #2
    Member Steve Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Northern California
    I'm surprised there haven't been any replies or other observations of NGC 6052 as this is an excellent target -- particularly for larger scopes. I've observed it twice in Jimi's 48-inch, mostly recently last month. This observation is from last year ----

    48" (5/15/12): at 488x, the disrupted system NGC 6052 = Arp 209 had a very strange appearance. Attached on the SE side is a faint, elongated glow, ~22"x6", extending out from the main portion of the system and giving the strong impression that an edge-on galaxy was involved in this merger. Also on the NE side, a fainter and broader extension or plume was visible oriented N-S. Although these two features seemed detached, they may be part of the same partially merged edge-on. To the west of these extended features is the most prominent region or core of the galaxy, which appeared bright, irregular round and mottled. The halo was very irregular in shape and brightness, particularly on the west side which had a mottled, tattered appearance.

    I didn't resolve any individual HII regions on the west side of the galaxy, but I bet on a good night they would be seen.
    24" f/3.7 Starstructure
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  3. #3
    Member RolandosCY's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Mosfiloti, Cyprus
    Well, there are other observations! I just didn't get a chance yet to transfer my sketch to the computer. I did observe this object under SQM 20.98 skies last Monday night. I do have a habit of not reading the whole text of an OOTW before observing it for the first time, so that I concentrate on seeing it through the eyepiece without any previous "biases". Well, this object got me first by surprise by how easy it was to see through 18". After spending quite some time on it and using magnifications from 66x to 294x, I did notice some things.

    The first really interesting note was it's shape. It was distincty triangular, with a quite high surface brightness. I did check nearby stars to make sure nothing changed in my collimation. Nope, it WAS triangular!
    The second interesting observation was the distinct uneveness in brightness within the triangular shape. Now, I don't have the sketch in front of me and I can't recall the position of the brightenings from memory, but there were at least three distinct knots.

    Tonight I am going for a short vacation at a place on the border of a state forest, at the border of a blue and grey zone. The weather is a bit doubtful, but the "deal" with my wife was that we would go along with my 18", so if the weather allows I will hopefully give it another shot (last time I was there (sans telescope) the SQM at the hotel grounds was 21.3, so....)...
    The Darker the Better!
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  4. #4
    Member Howard B's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Portland, Oregon USA
    I had a look last night with my 28 but the seeing wasn't steady enough to see any detail other than 6052's triangular shape. The SQM was very dark for the observing site though - 21.52 - and transparency was excellent so it did appear very bright. The view through the 48 inch last month was much like the SDSS image in Uwe's original post though.

    Nearby is a lovely double system, NGC 6062 A and B. Much more subtle than 6052, they rewarded extended viewing.
    28 inch f/4 alt-az Newtonian

  5. #5
    Member reiner's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Freiburg, Germany
    Hi Uwe,

    I gave this galaxy a try last night with my 22"

    First, it is really small :-) But it is quite bright :-)

    Seeing was not very steady so my observation was similar as Howard's. The triangular shape was very distinct with a brightening towards one of the sides. I could use magnifications only up to 350x and there were hints to more internal structure but this was difficult to pin down (nothing compared to the fine detail you reported in your excellent sketch). Needs definitely to be revisited again in a night with better seeing.

    22" and 14" Dobs on EQ platforms and Deep Sky Observing

  6. #6
    Member akarsh's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    Austin, TX
    I came across this galaxy while looking at POSS II images of NGC galaxies, and since it looked really strange, I thought of observing it. Needless to say, I'm not entirely surprised it was an OOTW, although I didn't run into this earlier because I referred to it as NGC 6064, which seems to be it's less popular designation.

    I had no clue what I was looking at, but here's my sketch:

    Needless to say, I was pushing my 18" to 450x, and it won't go much further. So no knots.

    One wishes that one could see such gorgeous pictures at the eyepiece!
    Truly unique and interesting object indeed!

    18" f/4.5 Obsession dob "Romela"
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