NGC 5350, 5353, 5354, 5355, and 5358 – A Fabulous, But Often Neglected Galaxy Group in Canes Venatici – July 6th 2012

Observer’s Challenge Report complete report link as following:


NGC 5353 galaxy group: 

Conditions: Excellent with a temperature of 65 degrees and a very low humidity of 44% which is very unusual for the foothills of NC in June.  The NELM was near 5.5 and the first half moon was setting in the tree tops, which took a bit away from the fainter galaxies of this group.

Telescope:  10-inch f/4.5 reflector;  Eyepiece:  11mm 82 degree apparent field eyepiece, with the employ of a 2x Barlow for a magnification of 208x.

The brightest galaxy of this group is NGC 5353 at a magnitude of 11.1 and is very easy to see.  It appears very elongated with a brighter and more concentrated elongated middle.  The next brightest is NGC 5350 which appears mostly round with fairly low surface brightness.  I did not note any central brightness, however, a fairly bright 6.5 magnitude orange star just a few minutes west of NGC 5350 is very distracting.

NGC 5354 is just north of NGC 5353 and appearing almost in contact.  NGC 5354 is mostly round with a very subtle brighter middle.  NGC 5355 is located just SE of NGC 5350 and is very faint, requiring averted vision with no visible detail being noted.  The faintest and most difficult of the group is NGC 5358 which is SE of NGC 5355.  I could see NGC 5358, with averted vision, appearing as little more than a faint blur.  I could not hold this galaxy constantly.   

The sketch was made using a No. 2 pencil and a blank 5 x 8 notecard, with the colors being inverted using a scanner.   

The image following the sketch is compliments of Dr. James Dire of Hawaii.  Please note other galaxies and magnitudes.  

“The image of the Hickson compact galaxy group was taken June 16th 2012, through a 102mm Apochromatic  refractor and a CCD camera.  The exposure was 90 minutes, just enough to pick out the spiral arms in NGC 5350.  Visually, the three brighter members look like fuzzy spots with no discernible detail.  The bright foreground star in the middle of the image is HD 121197, an orange giant shining at magnitude 6.5.  The image also captured the impressive face-on spiral galaxy NGC 5371.”   Click on sketch and image to enlarge…


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