(IAAC) OBJECT: NGC 4449 (galaxy) INST: 18" f/4.2 NEWT. LM=5.2 Rating: B+
Observer: Todd Gross
Your skill: Intermediate
Date and UT of observation: 2/15/99 09:05 GMT
Location & latitude: 22 mi. West of Boston, Ma. 42.3N
Site classification: Suburban
Limiting magnitude (visual): 5.2(estimated) zenith
Seeing (1 to 10 - worst-best): about 4
Moon up (phase?): No
Weather: Perfectly clear
Instrument: 18" Stabilite Newt f/4.2 1925mm fl
Filters used: none
Object: NGC 4449
Object data: Galaxy
Position: RA12:28 DEC44:06n
Personal "rating" (at this aperture, and sky condition): B+
This is a very interesting object for this aperture....
Viewed this galaxy right after NGC4214 which was a good "warm-up".
This is a similar object, but even more complex, and noticeably brighter.
Seemed only a bit smaller than NGC4214, unlike the listed size. The galaxy
at low power looked similar to NGC4214, and very similar to the swan nebula
as a matter of fact, in smaller aperture. However, with higher magnification
it became clear that the swan's "head" was actually a separate galaxy or
galaxy arm (which is what is listed - see description below) separated by
seemed to be a dark lane from the main part of the galaxy.
What made the galaxy so interesting though was also a distinct asterism of
shaped in the letter "J" which swung into the main part of the galaxy.
This was best seen at high power. A more detailed description follows:
So, picture a long-ish, somewhat cigar shaped galaxy oriented NE-SW (PA 45)
with a sideways "J" (the J lying down to the right) of stars .. swinging in
from the right (nw) and then up along the galaxy.(ne) Then, along the long SE
side of that galaxy was a strong hint of a dark lane which also separated
that breakoff piece I mentioned above... much smaller, across the dark lane
off the S (lower left) tip of the galaxy, pretty much opposite the "J".
Boston Meteorologist Todd Gross
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