M74 – NGC 628 – Galaxy in Pisces

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Date: December 17, 1997  

Telescope: 10-inch f/4.5 reflector 

Magnification: 143x

Description: Faint mostly round glow, very low surface brightness. Brighter middle, fairly uniform halo, but with irregularities using averted vision. Two stars toward the east, and a line of stars ending with a brighter star north of the galaxy. I’ve always considered M74 to be the most difficult object in the Messier catalog. (See sketch)

Date: November 10, 1999
Telescope: 102 mm refractor f/9.8
Magnification: 63x
Description: Very faint with extremely low surface brightness halo that fades very gradually outwards. A brighter center, however, not well concentrated.

Date: November 1995
Telescope: 4-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain f/10
Magnification: 63x
Description: Brighter middle with a faint diffuse halo. Mostly round well concentrated nucleus.

Roger Ivester

 

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