SCULPTOR
by Steve Coe
17.5" f/4.5 unless noted

NGC 24 Pretty bright, pretty large and much elongated NE to SW, averted vision makes this object grow in size quite a bit at 100X. A pretty bright star is located on the tip of this galaxy. In good seeing there is a bright core which is almost stellar at 165X.

NGC 55 Bright, very, very large, very, very elongated at 100X. It is visible in the 50mm finder. At 100X it is longer than the field of view. There are several H II regions involved, a UHC filter helps a lot on these gaseous nebulae in another galaxy. The nucleus is stellar at high power and some mottling is noticed.

NGC 134 Pretty bright, pretty large, very elongated, bright nucleus at 135X. On a sharp night it looks like a mini-Sombrero galaxy. There is a dark lane that runs the length of the galaxy at 165X.

NGC 148 Faint, small and has a brighter core at 135X.

NGC 150 Pretty bright, small, somewhat elongated and brighter in the middle with a stellar nucleus at 165X in moments of good seeing.

NGC 253 Very bright, very large, very, very elongated at 100X. Many dark lanes with swirls and rifts prominent throughout the galaxy to a somewhat brighter core. This galaxy displays lots of mottling across its' surface. It is easy in binoculars or a finderscope.
Sentinel 13" 9/10--in either 10X50 or 11X80, bright, large, much elongated, somewhat brighter middle, one star on NE end and three stars on southwest end frame the galaxy, the big binoculars show a few fainter stars near the galaxy.
8X25 binocs--just detected
60X with 38mm Giant Erfle-- Very bright, very large, very much elongated 4X1 in PA 45, much brighter middle, very mottled, beautiful convex lens shape, many dark markings in arms. 100X--Excellent view, stellar nucleus evident about 20% of the time, 7 stars involved, two pretty bright oval patches in southwest arm, lots of dark markings, the most mottling I have ever seen.
150X 14mm UWA--core is gradually sculptured by dark lanes, oval bright core has tiny stellar nucleus.
220X--core has fascinating pattern of light and dark, but no spiral structure, more like a surrealistic painting.

NGC 254 Faint, small, round, brighter in the middle at 100X. There is a bright star in the field and two dim companion galaxies are nearby. It is misidentified as NGC 259 on Chart 18 of the Tirion Atlas. The error has been corrected on later editions. Burnham's description of this object as "vB" for "very bright" must also be a misprint.

NGC 288 Pretty faint, large, not much brighter in the middle, irregularly round, 40 stars resolved at 135X. It can be seen in a pair of 10X50 binoculars as a dim, small spot. Even this low surface brightness globular cluster is a welcome as a break in all these galaxies.

NGC 289 Pretty bright, pretty large, elongated 2 X 1 in PA 165 and gradually brighter in the middle at 135X. There is an 11th mag star on the northern edge. This galaxy grows with averted vision.

NGC 300 Faint, large, several star superimposed, somewhat brighter in the middle at 100X. This is a low surface brightness object. Imagine M 33 only 10 degrees above the horizon.

NGC 378 13" Extremely, extremely faint, pretty small, round, not brighter in the middle, at the limit of the 13" at 135X.

NGC 418 13" Extremely faint, pretty small, round, much brighter in the middle at 135X. It is tough to see and averted vision helps.

NGC 423 13" Very faint, small, elongated 2X1 in PA 135 with a brighter middle at 135X.

NGC 427 Extremely faint, pretty small, irregularly round, just detected with averted vision a 135X.

NGC 439 Faint, small, elongated N-S, dark lane in the middle at 100X. 13" Faint, pretty small, elongated 2X1 in PA 135, bright middle at 135X.

NGC 441 13" Faint, pretty small, round, little brighter in the middle at 135X, near NGC 439.

NGC 491 Pretty bright, small, somewhat elongated, gradually brighter core at 100X.

NGC 613 Pretty bright, pretty large, bright middle, elongated 3 X 1, there is a pretty bright star on the NE side at 100X. The outer tips of the spiral arms curve in opposite directions as if to show the direction of spiral motion.

NGC 7507 Pretty bright, pretty small, round and has a brighter core at 100X. This galaxy looks somewhat like a globular cluster.

NGC 7513 Pretty faint, pretty small and little elongated at 100X. It is northeast of NGC 7507 in the same field of view.

NGC 7713 Faint, pretty large and elongated N-S at 100X. It has a somewhat brighter middle at 135X.

NGC 7713A Very faint, small, somewhat elongated at 100X. It is 20' northwest of NGC 7713.

NGC 7755 Pretty faint, pretty small and roundish, slightly brighter middle at 135X.

NGC 7793 Pretty bright, large, round, bright middle at 100X. At 165X, there are two brighter shells which surround the core. The stellar core and concentric shells around it were only seen on the best of nights. There is a hint of a spiral arm off the south side of the core and averted vision makes it grow much larger. Just barely seen in the 11X80 finder.
Sentinel 8/10 S+T 11X80 just seen 150X--bright, very large, much, much brighter middle, elongated 1.5X1 in PA 90. A hint of a spiral arm to the south of the core.
Averted vision makes it grow.


MCG-06-03-015 (Sculptor System) Extremely faint, very, very large, little elongated and very little brighter in the middle. That observation was with a 4.25" f/4 at 16X. When I first thought of observing this very low surface brightness object, I looked it up in Burnham's and it said "eeF", an abbreviation for extremely,
extremely faint. This told me that I was only going to have a chance to see the Sculptor System from a very dark site. After trying to see this huge object with a 16" scope at low power, I reasoned that we needed a wider field of view and went after it with the little RFT. Every precaution was taken to get fully dark adapted and a cloth was held over the observer's head to block out extraneous light. Using all those precautions, there is a very faint, roundish blob at the location marked on Tirion.

IC 5332 Faint, very large, round, grows with averted vision at 100X.


Double Stars

Epsilon SCL Split at 165X in good seeing, white and light blue.
When the pair is not cleanly split there is a blue side to the primary star.

Dunlop 253 Split at 135X, both stars are blue-white.

See 489 Easy split at 100X, white and yellow . This is the double star in the field with IC 5332. T.J.J. See is abbreviated Lambda.
Yes, it is easy to make jokes about "see 489", no I just see two stars.

H 3377 Easy split at 100X, yellow and orange.

H 5417 Easy to split at 100X, yellow and blue.

Red Stars

R SCL Dark orange at 100X. Even off color in the finderscope.