Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 56

FEBRUARY 2017 OBSERVING
Deep-Sky Wonders

was published in 1712. Flamsteed was
incensed, and he managed to procure
and burn most of the copies - but those
that survived include a column where
Flamsteed's stars are numbered. How
strange that numbers known worldwide
today spring from the spurious edition
that Flamsteed reviled!
With that historical detour behind
us, let's use 8 Leporis to help us find
our next galaxy, NGC 1954, which lies
2.3° east of the star. A roughly stapleshaped group of twenty 7th- to 9thmagnitude stars fills much of the space
between 8 Lac and NGC 1954, and you
can follow them most of the way to the
galaxy by climbing up the staple's back

and down its eastern leg. Through the
130-mm refractor at 48×, NGC 1954
shares the field of view with the orange
star at the point of the staple's leg. At
that magnification, the galaxy is a very
faint, oval glow with a 10th-magnitude
star off its northwestern tip. At 117×
a faint star adorns the galaxy's edge,
north-northwest of center. The 10-inch
reflector at 220× draws out a second
star, west-northwest of the first and
beyond the pallid face of the galaxy.
Within the galaxy a small, brighter
core hosts a starlike nucleus. The field
of view also acquires a bonus galaxy,
NGC 1957. Its little round form sits off
the opposite end of NGC 1954 as the
10th-magnitude star and at the same
separation from it. Boosting the power

to 308×, I see NGC 1957's tiny brighter
heart. These two galaxies also seem to
be related to each other and dwell about
140 million light-years away from us.
Let's finish with the only ear star
we've not yet employed, Iota (ι) Leporis, a double whose components you
can split through any telescope at low
to medium magnifications. The brighter
star sparkles diamond white, but its
companion to north-northwest is much
dimmer, making its yellow hue a challenge to detect. Can you?
Although our sky tour has been all
about the ears, it can't truly be appreciated until the eyes have it.
¢ SUE FRENCH welcomes your comments at scfrench@nycap.rr.com.

Deep-sky images reveal the probable interaction between NGC 1954 and NGC 1957. A
faint trail of bridging material connects NGC
1954's southern arm to its neighbor.

IC 2132

NGC 1954

NGC 1957

CR EDIT

N

K EN T B IGGS

56

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7 * SK Y & TELESCOPE



Sky and Telescope - February 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky and Telescope - February 2017

Contents
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - Cover1
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - Cover2
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 1
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - Contents
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 3
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 4
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 5
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 6
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 7
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 8
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 9
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 10
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 11
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Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 56
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Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - Cover3
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - Cover4
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