NGC 5866 (Messier 102)

Observation Notes:

NGC 5866 appeared small, bright and strongly elongated. I estimated its length at about three arc minutes with a width less than one arc minute. My observation and sketch estimate a PA of 118 degrees. lists 128 degrees. Although the galaxy possesses a thin dust lane, I could detect no hint of it. Brightness of the galaxy increases strongly toward the core; however, it doesn’t appear stellar. While scanning the area at low power, I ran into the soft glow of slender galaxies NGC 5908 and 5879.

Object Information:

NGC 5866 is an edge-on lenticular galaxy that lies about 45 million light years away. At this distance, it would measure 69,000 light years in diameter. It was discovered by Pierre Francois Andre Mechain in 1781. NGC 5866 is also cataloged as: PGC 53933, UGC 9723, MCG+09-25-017, H I-215, h 1909, GC 4058, CGCG 274.016, IRAS 15051+5557, LGG 396-001

Subject NGC 5866 (M102)
Classification* Galaxy (S0-a)
Position* Draco [RA: 15:06:29.3 / Dec: +55:45:47]
Size* 4.7″ x 1.9″
Brightness* 10.2 vMag
Date/Time July 7, 2008 – 10:30 PM MST (July 8, 2008 – 5:30 UT)
Observing Loc. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA – Home
Instrument Orion SkyQuest XT8 (203 mm dia./1200 mm F/L)
Eyepieces/Mag. 10 mm Sirius Plössl (120X)
Conditions Clear, calm
Seeing 5/10 Pickering
Transparency ~ Mag 5.5 NELM