Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 24

Observing Log

NGC 1612
NGC 1613

NGC 1600
In the northern part of Eridanus, about 11°
west-northwest of Rigel and 2° southwest of
Nu (ν) Eridani, is NGC 1600, the brightest
galaxy in a collection that contains 12 additional galaxies brighter than 14th magnitude.
NGC 1600 itself is an 11th-magnitude elliptical
with two close companions: NGC 1601 and
NGC 1603. Apparently, neither William Herschel, who discovered NGC 1600 in 1786, nor
John Herschel, who observed the field four
times, made any mention of the companions.
Their discovery was left to George Johnstone
Stoney observing at Birr Castle in 1849. See
if you can detect them. NGC 1601 lies about
1.5′ north-northeast and NGC 1603 sits 2.5′
almost due east of NGC 1600.
NGC 1600 is quite a bit brighter than
the other members of its group at similar
distances, suggesting that it, too, might
be a fossil group galaxy and its neighbors
might be fated to be cannibalized. To round
out the set, look for the 13.7-magnitude
lenticular NGC 1604 some 17½′ to the southsoutheast, the 13.0-magnitude barred spiral
NGC 1594 located 44′ to the south-southwest, the 13.5-magnitude spiral NGC 1580
lying 50′ nearly due west, the 13.9-magnitude
barred spiral IC 373 found 19′ to the northwest, and the face-on 13.7-magnitude spiral,
NGC 1599, situated 30′ to the north. Extending farther to the north-northeast lies a string
of five galaxies stretching out to my arbitrary
1° boundary. The string includes the elongated lenticular NGC 1607, the oval lenticular
NGC 1609, the spindle-shaped NGC 1611,
and the two barred spirals NGC 1613 and
NGC 1612. These galaxies all range in magnitude from 13.2 to 13.7.

NGC 1611

NGC 1609
NGC 1607

NGC 1599

IC 373

NGC 1601

NGC 1603

NGC 1600
NGC 1580

NGC 1604
HD 28979
67

NGC 1594

UGC 3080

NGC 1587
Taurus is home to NGC 1587 and three
neighboring galaxies brighter than 14th
magnitude - look for this quartet about 45′
northwest of 4.9-magnitude 45 Eridani. Both
ellipticals, NGC 1587 at magnitude 11.7 and
NGC 1588 at magnitude 12.9, form an interacting binary pair. NGC 1587 is noteworthy
for having one of the highest rotation rates
known for an elliptical of average luminosity. One scenario proposes that NGC 1587 is
the product of a merger with another galaxy,
and its high rotation rate is the consequence
of that interaction. About 12′ north of the
bright pair is NGC 1589, an 11.8-magnitude
spiral seen nearly edge-on. The open-faced
spiral, UGC 3080, about ½° north-northeast
of the pair, barely makes the cut due to its
low surface brightness. Large-scope owners
may just detect the slightest hint of spiral
structure, as well as several fainter galaxies
that dot the field.

24

JANUARY 2 021 * SK Y & TELESCOPE

NGC 1589

NGC 1587
NGC 1588



Sky & Telescope - January 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky & Telescope - January 2021

Contents
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - Cover1
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - Cover2
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 1
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - Contents
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 3
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - 4
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Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - Cover3
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - Cover4
Sky & Telescope - January 2021 - SA1
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