Observing the Shakhbazian Compact Groups of Galaxies

Shkh 30 - Shkh 90


Shakhbazian 30 (Shkh 30, SHK 30, HCG 97, IC 5357-Group)

1.  IC 5357     -  23h 47m 23s; -02 18' 02" - mag 13.9
2.  IC 5351     -  23h 47m 19s; -02 18' 50" - mag 14.8
3.  IC 5356     -  23h 47m 24s; -02 21' 54" - mag 13.4
4.  PGC 72405 -  23h 47m 20s; -02 16' 51" - mag 16.0
5.  IC 5359     -  23h 47m 38s; -02 19' 00" - mag 15.8

 

DSS 10' 10'

N457/1850; 205 , fst 6.7

The fabulous Shkh 30 (Psc) is the second Shakhbazian group also reported as Hickson group (HCG 97). IC 5357 (HCG 97A; mag 13.9), first of five visually identified galaxies, is the largest in the field and should be visible in a 8 inch telescope. The 18-inch revealed a quite bright and oval nebula, slightly brighter to the middle. Second brightest IC 5356 is similar, but much smaller and slightly fainter. IC 5351 is small and round. This galaxy "sticks" together with a star close at south, visually both objects appear as one. IC 5359 is a pretty edge-on spiral, however its visual observation is less spectacular than its needle-shaped appearance on the POSS. Last but not least PGC 72405 is a more challenging target to track down, situated closely NW of IC 5357 and appearing as a faint, almost stellar haze, only visible with averted vision.


Shakhbazian 38 (Shkh 38, SHK 38, PGC 4212, 3Zw 22)

01h 10m 52s; +08 19' 21" - mag ca. 17

DSS 5' 5'

Alike Shkh 19 this challenging object in constellation Pisces is part of my personal top ten list of the "hardest" deep sky objects ever observed. Shkh 38 is another small galaxy chain (< 1') assuming an extremely dark sky with fairly good conditions indeed, a large telescope and, of course, that certain amount of audacity generally needed in visual deep sky observation. Actually, its visual detection required a crystal clear alpine sky (fst mag 7.2). The appearance was very similar to Shkh 19, i. e. an extremely faint, small nebulous something at the limit of vision. However hard I tried, I could not estimate one of the individual objects.


Shakhbazian 40 (Shkh 40, SHK 40, Abell 193)

1.  IC 1695     -  01h 25m 07s; +08 41' 59" - mag 15.0
2.  anonymous -  01h 24m 41s; +08 36' 33" - mag 16
3.  UGC 967    -  01h 24m 13s; +08 46' 35" - mag 15.5

DSS 15' 15'

In addition to its classification as Shakhbazian galaxy group, Shkh 40 (Psc) is identical with the central region of  rich galaxy cluster Abell 193 (distance class 4; magnitude of tenth-brightest galaxy: 16). Sixty faint galaxies are concentrated in a 15 15 arcminutes field. The brightest galaxy in the middle, elliptical IC 1695 (diameter 1'.6), should be visible in a 8 or 10 inch telescope. Despite the richness of the cluster's core, tracking down other galaxies in Shkh 40/A 193 turned out to be a more disappointing venture. Only two were visible under reasonable good conditions (fst mag 6.4): UGC 967 (below right) became evident as a pretty faint and stellar object, situated closely south of a comparably faint star; furthermore I could glimpse an anonymous galaxy, which appeared as very faint nebula, perhaps slightly elongated E-W.


Shakhbazian 44 (Shkh 44, SHK 44)

1.  anonymous -  01h 40m 54s; +02 52' 06" - mag > 16.5
2.  anonymous -  01h 40m 52s; +02 50' 05" - mag > 16.0
3.  anonymous -  01h 40m 54s; +02 52' 49" - probably a star
4. anonymous -  01h 40m 52s; +02 51' 01" - probably a star
5. anonymous -  01h 40m 53s; +02 51' 01" - probably a star
6.  anonymous - 01h 40m 52s; +02 50' 44" - mag > 16.5

DSS 5' 5'

Shkh 44 (Psc) is extremely difficult to observe, though it is a visually resolvable galaxy group. At least the brightest galaxy was visible in the 18-inch, demanding most of my observational skills. A further galaxy was suspected at higher magnification (> 300 ). Other objects lie definetly below detection threshold. Moreover, three of eleven members reported in Shkh 44 probably are stars. Their false identification as galaxies stems from an error in the original Shakhbazian catalogue.


Shakhbazian 49 (Shkh 49, SHK 49)

10h 15m 15s; +38 55' 12" - mag > 16

DSS 5' 5'

N457/1850; 276 , fst 6.7

Shkh 49 (LMi) is a hardly resolvable group of 7 - 8 stellar galaxies, merely 1.5 arcminutes of length, close to the northeast of a 12th magnitude star. However, under exceptionally dark skies three individual members were discernable as faint star-like specks in the 18-inch (276 ). Other galaxies should be extremely hard to pin down. Despite being little spectacular, Shkh 49 was the second entry (after Shkh 166) from the Shakhbazian lists which I have observed visually.


Shakhbazian 60 (Shkh 60, SHK 60)

1.  anonymous -  11h 24m 31s; +40 26' 07" - mag > 15
2.  anonymous -  11h 24m 31s; +40 26' 07" - mag > 15
3.  anonymous -  11h 24m 42s; +40 25' 59" - mag > 16

DSS 5' 5'

Alike many other groups Shkh 60 in Ursa Maior was rather more difficult than expected. However a few objects could be identified visually. The circle marks the two brightest galaxies on the DSS image, actually a double system with an angular separation less than 1 arcsecond (!) and therefore - of course - absolutely not resolvable. In fact, they both appear as a single faint "knot" without any structural detail.


Shakhbazian 63 (Shkh 63, SHK 63)

1.  CG 1430    -  11h 29m 36s; +42 26' 25" - mag 16.0
2.  anonymous -  11h 29m 34s; +42 26' 07" - mag > 16.5
3.  anonymous -  11h 29m 34s; +42 26' 00" - mag > 16.5

 

DSS 5' x 5'

N457/1850; 222 x, fst 7.0

Shkh 63 again in Ursa Maior consists of six galaxies, however only a single one is conspicuous enough to visual observers. This galaxy is also reported in the Case low dispersion northern sky survey XV (Pesch & Step, 1995), where it is listed as CG 1430. Two further galaxies close SW of CG 1430 were just suspected as a diffuse haze at the absolute limit of detection.


Shakhbazian 90 (Shkh 90, SHK 90)

10h 15m 15s; +38 55' 12" - mag > 16

DSS 5' 5'

N457/1850; 222 , fst 7.0

Approximately 2 arcminutes in diameter, the poor galaxy group Shkh 90 (Lyn) is located close to UGC 4214 (mag 15.3), a nice edge-on galaxy not physically associated to the galaxy group. This foreground galaxy is clearly visible in the 18-inch as faint SE-NW elongated nebula. A circle marks the only visually discernable member of Shkh 90 on the DSS image. Its appearance is almost stellar and pretty faint.


Next Page