Touring the Peculiar Universe:
Part III - Fall Arps

by Bob Hill - Amarillo Astronomy Club

Welcome to the third part of a tour through Halton Arp's Peculiar Universe, an adventure in both visual observation and a look into the mindset of modern cosmology. The other parts are:
Winter Arps
Spring Arps
Summer Arps

My journey through Dr. Arp's atlas and catalog started with a simple reason behind it; it looked like a fun project to do. This simple reason is the driving factor behind many of our observing projects, either the sense of accomplishment from completing a lengthy list, or simply the desire to see objects that few people have seen.

From this fairly basic beginning a very rich journey began. It has progressed from the data gathering on each object to a greater appreciation of the complexity of this universe of ours. Seeing the objects has led to a desire to explore the underlying dynamics that would produce the galaxies and clusters of galaxies that are shown in the "Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies". This has led into an exploration of the main streets and byways of modern cosmology and astrophysics.

When you venture into these areas the first thing that you will discover is that we have accumulated a lot of facts, but very few answers. Our understanding of the observations we have from things ranging from our own Milky Way galaxy out to the furthest quasars leave us with many more questions than answers. The models that we build to try to help us understand what we are observing are sometimes useful, but lack the depth to explain fully an infinite universe. We have a few partial answers to the questions of the universe's origins, but in the long run they may prove to be just as incorrect as tacking on epicycles to planetary motions were for explaining the movement of the planets across the heavens. Remember, epicycles did explain those motions, they were just the wrong answer for the question.

This seems to be one of the main points in Dr. Arp's writings. Keep an open mind about our observations. If the evidence seems contradictory then we may just be missing the point. Theories are made to be discarded if they no longer fit the facts.

The Observations

The fall observing season has as many Arp objects scattered from Pegasus through Aries and from Andromeda to Piscis Austrinus as the springtime skies. So many that I am stretching a point and arbitrarily moving Cetus through Eridanus into the winter collection, just to try and limit the size of this article. If I did not do that I would end up shortchanging some of the more fascinating areas of the sky. So, without further ado, join me on the next leg of the journey.

Aquarius

Arp 93 - NGCs 7284 & 5 - 7284 m11.9 sb 12.9 2.3'x1.6' SBO - 7285 m11.9 sb 13.4 2.4'x1.5' SBa 22h28.7m -2450'. Arp Classification - Spiral galaxy with elliptical companion on arm. In the 16" at 300x 7284 shows a bright central region about .5'x.3' in size elongated NW-SE with a brighter core. 7285 is elongated EW and about the same size in its core region. Both systems are surrounded by a faint haze about 2' in diameter.

Arp 295 - MCG-1-60-21 & -1-60-22 - MCG-1-60-21 m14.5 1.8'x.3' Sc/p - MCG-1-60-22 m14.6 .9'x.5' Sb/p 23h41.8m -340'. Arp Classification - Double galaxy with long filaments. This is both a fascinating and puzzling field that left me with some identification questions. With my 20" at 282x MCG-1-60-21 is an edge-on streak 1.2'x.2' in size elongated NE-SW. MCG-1-60-22 lies about 4.5' to the NE of 21 and is a .5'x.3' oval aligned almost EW. MAC 2342-0334 is about 2' to the NE of 22, a 15th magnitude galaxy .4'x.2' in size. 6.5' to the NW of 21 is IC 1505, a magnitude 14 elliptical .9'x.7' in size with a bright core. To the NW of 21 is a line of three 15th and 16th magnitude field stars about 2' from the galaxy. MegaStar plots Markarian 933 almost in line with these three. Mkn 933 is PGC 72137, a magnitude 16.5 active galaxy .3'x.2' in size. In the eyepiece field there was nothing at that location, but a very faint bit of haze would show up about 1.2' to the NW of 21 where MegaStar plots GSC 5255:1025. Increasing the power to 423x (6 Radian) made this hazy spot much easier to hold with averted vision and I was rewarded with an occasional tiny stellar spark at the center of the galaxy, a definite hint of the AGN at the center of MKN 933.

Arp 314 - PGCs 70127, 70130 and 70133 - 70127 m13.7 sb 12.7 1'x.7' S - 70130 m13.8 sb 13.2 1.2'x1' SBcd/p - 70133 m15.5 1'x.8' SBdm/p 22h58m -346'. Arp Classification - Group of galaxies. In the 20" at 282x 70127 is a bright oval aligned NE-SW about 1'x.6' in size. It has a slightly brighter core region about 15" in size that gets even brighter to a non-stellar nucleus. About 1.5' to the SW is 70130, a dimmer but larger object. It has a smaller bright oval aligned the same as 127 with a bright non-stellar core. The whole system is surrounded by a very faint haze that extends from a magnitude 15 star 30" to the E to about the same distance to the W of the nucleus. The third galaxy in this group is the challange object of this trio. Its given size of 1'x.8' would make you think that it would be easy to spot, but the Arp photograph shows 70133 to be a small faint bar with an extremly faint ring. I did not get more than a hint of it at 363x, and needed to bump up the magnification to 508x (5 Nagler) before it would do more than tease the eye. At that power there was a very small faint bar about 5"x30" extending NS that would hold fairly steady with averted vision.

Arp 325 - ESO 601-18, 18A & 18B - These three plus a pair of MAC galaxies are known collectively as PGC 68034. PGC 68034 has an integrated magnitude of 15.7 with a surface brightness of 15.2. The individual galaxies range from mag 16 for 601-18B to mag 18.1 for 601-18. In size the quintuple system is 1.3'x.3' in size, located at 22h6.3m -2104'. Arp Classification - Group of galaxies. The individual components range from magnitude 16 to 18, and they are all small objects ranging from .4' diameter for 601-18 to .3'x.2' for MAC 2206-2105. This has been one of the most challenging Arp objects that I have observed to date, as it wasn't until the third night searching for it that I finally located it. The search was totally unsuccessful in the 16" and it was finally located the second time that I searched for it with my new 20". My observing partner for the Arp hunt, Jim Fitch, located it at almost the same instant in his 20", so we both had a very successful night. The group lies about 1.3' S of a Y shaped asterism and was visible as an extremely faint glow extending S about 1' at 282x. At 423x the glow was a little easier to hold, and at times would divide into either two or three objects. There were very faint stellar objects at either end of the group that were probably the MAC galaxy at the southern end and a very faint field star at the NE end. This was one group that left me with a sense of achievement for just having detected it.

Andromeda

Arp 65 - NGCs 91 & MAC 0021+2255 - NGC 91 m13.7 sb 13.8 SBc - MAC 0021+2255 m17 .3'x.2' 0h21.9m +2224'. Arp Classification - Galaxy with small high surface brightness companion on arm. This is a beautiful field for galaxy hunters. In my 16" at 233x there were 11 galaxies visible in the field of a 9mm Nagler. NGC 91 is a small oval aligned EW about .8'x.4' in size. It has a bright core region about .2' in diameter with faint spiral arms sweeping to the east and west. The very faint extensions to the arms extending to the north and south were not visible. 2.8' to the west is the edge-on spiral NGC 93, a mag 13.3 oval 1.2'x.6' in size aligned NE-SW. 5' to the N of 93 are the faint 15.5 glows of MAC 0022+2228 and NGC 94, a pair of small galaxies separated by about .6'. 4' to the N of 94 is NGC 96, a mag 14.9 lenticular that showed a .4' diameter glow with a brighter core. 7' to the WNW of NGC 91 is NGC 83, a 1' diameter mag 13.6 E type galaxy. 5' to the SW of 83 is NGC 80, the largest galaxy in the group at 1.5' diameter and mag 13.1. 5' to the N of 83 are the dim pair of NGC 85 and IC 1546, both small and in the mid 15's for brightness. 2.8' N of 85 is mag 15 NGC 86, another small feeble oval glow. And finally, 2.4' NE of 86 is NGC 84, a very faint barely held tiny glow. There were a few other suspected tiny glows in the field, and the charts do show several more very faint galaxies in this field, but they will have to wait for good skies and larger aperture.

Arp 113 - NGCs 67-72 - NGC 67 m14.2 sb 13.7 1'x.7' E - 68 m12.9 sp 14.9 2'x1' SO - 69 m14.8 sb 13.6 1.3'x1' SBb - 70 m13.5 sb 15.1 2'x2' Sc/p - 71 m13.2 sb 13.5 1.5'x1.2' SO/p - 72 m13.5 sb 13.8 1.3'x1' SBb 0h18.6m +305'. Arp Classification - E and E-like galaxies close to and perturbing spirals. The Autumn skies seem to be full of these beautiful compact groups of galaxies. The actual galaxies Dr. Arp intended to be included in this object are probably limited to NGCs 70 & 71 with the possible addition of NGC 68, but it is impossible to observe these three without including the other three. Depending on the aperture that you use, there are another 20 fainter galaxies in this field. The first thought that I had when observing this group was to wonder how a batch of 13th - 17th magnitude field stars could be such a distraction, but you do have to get past the stellar points to see the galaxy cluster. The brightest galaxy in the group visually is NGC 71. It appears as a round 1.2' diameter glow that brightens to a non-stellar core. 1' to the N of 71 is NGC 70. 70 has a smaller brighter core surrounded by the faint glow of its spiral arms out to a diameter of about 1.5'. 1' to the SW of 71 is NGC 68, another featureless round glow of about 1' diameter. The outer fringes of these three seem to all merge into a common glow. About .8' further SW from 68 is NGC 67, a very small faint .3' diameter object with slight central brightening. Another .8' to the SW brings you to MAC 0018+3003, an even fainter glow that seemed to be slightly elongated in an EW direction. 1.6' S of NGC 70 is NGC 69. 69 is quite a bit brighter than the previous two, but significantly dimmer than 70. It is another small .4' diameter object with a brighter non-stellar core. 1.7' to the east of 69 is NGC 72, a brighter larger galaxy. 72 has a bar about 1'x.2' in size that is elongated in a EW direction. It is surrounded by a round haze that was at the limit of detectability with my 16" scope.

Arp 158 - NGC 523 - m12.7 sb 14.4 3.2'x.8' Pec 1h25.5m +341'. Arp Classification - Disturbed galaxy with interior absorption. In the 20" at 282x 523 is a wedge shape 1.5'x.5' in size aligned EW with the wide part of the wedge-on the E side. It is much brighter on the E end with the western half very much dimmer. The very faint dusting of stars that is on the eastern side of the wedge in the photograph was not visible on the night I observed it.

Pegasus

Arp 13 - NGC 7448 - m11.7 sb 11.3 2.6'x1.2' Sbc - 23h00m +1558.8'. Arp Classification - Spiral galaxy with detached segments. It was also pure serendipity as it was not known at the time that Dr. Arp produced his Atlas, but there is a magnitude 19.2 quasar located 18.5" ENE of the nucleus of this galaxy. This quasar, 2257+157, is located within the outer arm and by the theory espoused by Dr. Arp would have been ejected from the nucleus. In the photo from the "Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies" there appears to be a faint stellar object at the position charted for the quasar in MegaStar 5, but I am sure that this has been "explained" as yet another accident of projection. In the 16" at 233x 7448 is a bright oval about 2.6'x1.2' in size with a bright oval nuclear region 1'x.5' with a brighter non-stellar core. The arm region surrounding the core has a mottled appearance, especially to the N of the core. The arm that curves down on the western side of the galaxy is brighter than the general haze to the south.

Arp 28 - NGC 7678 - m11.8 sb 13.1 2.5'x1.7' SBc - 23h28m +2225.3'. Arp Classification - Spiral galaxy with one heavy arm. In the 16" at 233x 7678 is located at the center of a triangle of 11th magnitude field stars. As a result of this it appears as a round 1.5' diameter faint object. There is a brighter non-stellar core and in the surrounding haze to the south is a brighter arm about .5' S of the core extending EW for about 1'.

Arp 86 - NGCs 7753 & 52 - 7753 m12 sb 14.8 2.9'x1.9' SBbc - 23h47m +2929' - 7752 m14.3 sb 14.6 .9'x.5' SB. Arp Classification - Spiral galaxy with large high surface brightness companion. This is a very pretty object, Pegasus' answer to M51. In the 16" at 233x 7753 is a round galaxy with a small slightly elongated EW central core about .2' in length. The surrounding arms are a haze about 1.7' in diameter with a very faint wisp of light extending to the SW. Just past the end of this wisp of light lies 7752, a small oval about .6'x.3' in size with very slight central brightening. It appears much brighter than the published magnitude.

Arp 99 - NGCs 7547, 7549& 7550 - these three with the addition of NGCs 7553 & 7558 comprise Hickson 93, a very fine group of five in a medium high power eyepiece field. NGC 7547 - m13.7 sb 13.6 1.1'x.5' SB - 7549 m13 sb 14.4 2.8'x.7' SBc/P - 7550 m12.2 sb 12.6 1.4'x1.2' E-SO - 23h15m +19. Arp Classification - Spiral galaxy with elliptical companions. In the 16" at 262x 7549 is a small oval extending NW-SE about .7'x.4' with a brighter bar and nuclear region at the center of the oval. Hints of extensions at either end were intermittently visible. 7550 is visible 5' to the S of 7549, a round brighter 1.3' diameter object with a bright non-stellar core. 7547 is located about 3.5' to the E of 7550, a small oval 1'x.5' in size. It has an oval brightening to the center. 7553 is a small dim mag 15.2 .4' diameter spot about 4' to the E of 7549 with a brighter non-stellar core. 7558 is an even smaller, dimmer mag 15.9 speck that would pop in and out of averted vision only. It is located 6' to the ESE of 7550. This is another "accident of projection" system, with 7547, 49, 50 and 53 having recession velocities ranging from 4334 to 4768 kps. 7558 has a recessional velocity almost twice as high, 8455 kps. All five of these fit nicely into a 13.7' fov of an 8mm Radian.

Arp 112 - NGCs 7805 & 6 + MCG +5-1-26 - 7805 m13.3 sb 12.2 1.2'x.9' SBO AKA Markarian 333 - 7806 m13.5 sb 14.3 1.1'x.8' SB/p - MCG +5-1-26 m16.5p .5'x.15' S 0h01.8m +3126'. Arp Classification - Galaxies with repelling spiral arms. In the 16" at 262x this is a very small triple system with all three components in a E-W line taking up only 2.5' of sky. 7805 is a small dim slightly oval object 1'x.7' in size aligned NE-SW with a much brighter stellar core. 7806 is a smaller .5' diameter object 1' NE of 7805. Evidently I was only seeing the central region of this galaxy, as the photograph shows arms extended off the N and S ends of the galaxy extending much further than was visible. MCG +5-1-26 is a very faint wisp 1' E of 7806 that shows a hint of elongation NS. It does appear brighter than the 16.5 photographic magnitude given at NED, appearing about an estimated 15.5 visually.

Arp 150 - NGC 7609, PGCs 71077, 71074 and 71080 - AKA Hickson 95. NGC 7609 - m14.1 sb 13.4 1.3'x1.1' E-SO - PGC 71077 m16.2 .4'x.1' Sd (this classification seems to be questionable, as the Arp photograph shows this "galaxy" to be a pair of galactic nuclei with tidal tails extending to the N and NW from them) - PGC 71074 - m17.1 .4'x.06' Sbc - PGC 71080 - m16 .3'x.1' Sc 23h19.5m +930'. Arp Classification - Disturbed galaxies with interior absorption. In the 16" at 300x NGC 7609 was a small faint circular object about 1' diameter with a brighter non-stellar core. The paired nuclei of PGC 71077 were easily visible .5' to the SE from 7609. There was no other detail visible besides the nuclei, but it was apparent that there were two of them spaced just a few arcsec apart. 71080 was evident as a small faint oval about 1' further to the SE from 77. 71079 was the real teaser. There was almost something at the correct position about 1.5' to the SW from 7609, but I was never able to get a positive detection. We also tried this with a 20" f/5 at 433x (6 Radian, yes it was that kind of a night), but we could not quite be positive in that scope either. I suppose that morning twilite did not help either, but it gives something to go after during the longer Autumn nights.

Arp 212 - NGC 7625 m12.1 sb 11.8 1.6'x1.6' Sa 23h20.5m +1713'. Arp Classification - Galaxy with irregularities and absorption. After the eye bending necessary to try and see anything at all of the last few objects, this one is a nice change. A fairly bright object, at 300x in the 16" this galaxy is a small round object about 1.5' in diameter with a bright non stellar nucleus. With averted vision there is a diagonal dust lane about .4' from the core on the SW side of the galaxy. In the 20" at 363x this dust lane was easier to hold, even occasionally with direct vision.

Arp 278 - NGC 7253A&B - 7253A m14.4 sb 14 1.7'x.5' SBc - 7253B m14.5 sb 13.4 1.6'x.5' Sc 22h19.4m +2924'. Arp Classification - Interacting double galaxies. In the 16" at 300x I immediately nicknamed this one as "The Checkmark". 7253A is a faint horizontal streak extending ESE-WNW sandwiched between a 12th magnitude and 13th magnitude field star. A faint 14th magnitude double star lies about .7' to the W of the eastern-most of the two field stars. 53A starts at this double and extends about half way to the westernmost star. At the double it joins 53B at about a 60 angle, with 53B extending to the SW at this point.

Arp 319 - Stephan's Quintet - Hickson 92 - NGCs 7317, 7318A&B, 7319 and 7320. 7317 - m13.6 sb 13.6 .7'x.6' E - 7318A m13.4 sb 13.2 1.2'x1' E - 7318B m13.1 sb 13.9 1.6'x1.1' SBbc - 7319 m13.1 sb 14 1.4'x1.1' SBbc - 7320 m12.6 sb 13.8 2.3'x1.4' Scd - 22h56.1m +3359'. Arp Classification - Groups of galaxies. This group has been the subject of a lot of controversy through the years. The viewpoint of mainstream astronomy has been that 7320 is a foreground galaxy projected on the other four. The redshift figures of the group are often cited as proof of this supposition, and on the surface, they do seem to make this plain. If you dig a little deeper, a somewhat different picture starts to emerge. Correcting for the 3K CMB the figures for this group are as follows:

NGC
RV
NGC
RV
7317
6320 KPS
7319
6301 KPS
7318A
6345 KPS
7320
463 KPS
7318B
5490 KPS

As you can see, the figure given for 7320 places it relatively nearby. Using a conservative figure for the Hubble constant of 65 KPS/MPC that places 7320 at a distance of roughly 23 MLY. In the archives of HST at the MAST website there are images of 7320 done with the WFPC2 camera in 1998 and 1999 in four different color bands, U,B,V and I. In these it is resolved into stars and is much bluer than the other four members. The problem comes from the velocity disparity shown by the other four galaxies. In the same WFPC2 images, 7318A&B show all the classic signs of interaction, with the loops and swirls of tidal disruption being very evident. 7319 also shows these signs, being involved in an intricate dance with the other two. But the redshift difference between 7318A&B shows 7318B to be 43 MLY in the foreground. The disparity has been explained as a peculiar velocity difference as a result of the tidal interaction between the three, but an 855 KPS difference would make the system dynamically unstable as that velocity is so much in excess of the escape velocity that 7318B would have long since departed the area occupied by the 7318A, 7317 and 7319. ("Seeing Red" pp75) It is also evident from the images that all these systems are within just 3-400,000 light years distance from each other, so how have they escaped merging into one large elliptical system in the distant past? With all of the above it gives you a different viewpoint when observing these five faint patches of light in the eyepiece. Actually six systems, as 7320C is seen as a very faint almost stellar bit of fuzz 4.5' to the E of the other five. I have seen all six in apertures as small as 12.5", but the more glass that can be thrown at this group, the prettier it is in the eyepiece. In the 20" at 363x (Nagler 7) 7318A, B and 7319 are all enveloped in a very faint haze with all three having bright non-stellar nuclei. 7318 A and B are almost in contact just off the tip of 7320 and 7317 is just 2' away to the SW of the other two.

Pisces

Arp 92 - NGC 7603 & PGC 71041 - m13.2 sb 14 1.6'x1' SB/p - PGC 71041 m16.1 .5'x.4' E 23h19m +015'. Arp Classification - Spiral galaxy with elliptical galaxy companion on arm. At first glance there was nothing about the Arp photograph that made this object seem very much different than any of the other galaxy pairs in this classification. It was not until after seeing this pair in the 20" that I really started digging into this puzzle. In the 20" at 282x I almost overlooked 7603 as being just another foreground star in the field. The classic doubletake when I realized that the "star" was an extremely bright galaxy core 420 MLY away, well, you will just have to search this one out for yourself. The 12th magnitude core is surrounded by a very faint halo about 1.5'x1' in size aligned NS. This is the first time that I've had a galaxy's core drown out its own light. At 363x PGC 71041 would pop in and out as a starlike object in its own right about 1' to the SE from 7603. In the Arp image there is a very faint mist of stars connecting these two, but the redshifts supposedly tell a very different story. The redshift for 7603 puts it at about 420 MLY distance but the redshift for 71041 puts it at almost twice the distance, 830 MLY. NGC 7603 is also Markarian 530, and a Seyfert galaxy. From the apparent brightness of its core you would also have to wonder if PGC 71041 would also fit into the Markarian/Seyfert classification.

Arp 119 - UGC 849 & CGCG 436-23 - UGC 849 m14.8 1.2'x.6' Sd/p - CGCG 436-23 m15 .8'x.6' E-SO 1h19.4m +1227'. Arp Classification - E and E-like galaxies close to and perturbing spirals. In the 20" at 363x UGC 849 is a fan shaped object about 1'x.5' aligned EW. It is brighter on its northern side but shows very slight concentration into an off centered core. CGCG 436-23 is a small faint .6'x.4' oval 1' to the north of 849. It has a brighter non-stellar core.

Arp 157 - NGC 520 m11.4 sb 13 5'x2' Sa/p 1h24.6m +348'. Arp Classification - Disturbed galaxy with interior absorption. With the 20" at 282x 520 is an irregular shape about 3.5'x1.2' aligned NW-SE. The brightest portion is about 1.5'x.6' in roughly the center of the system. There is a narrow dust or dark lane bisecting this bright area. There is a faint extension about 1' in length to the SE of the bright area and about .7' in length extending almost to a 15th mag field star to the NW. These extensions are not in line with each other but seem to be at about a 150 angle with each other.

Arp 229 - NGC 507 m11.2 sb 13.7 4'x4' E-SO 1h23.8m +3316'. Arp Classification - Galaxy with concentric rings. The concentric rings are probably a little too subtle to determine visually, but this is another beautiful field. There were 9 galaxies visible in the field with the 16" using a 9mm Nagler eyepiece. NGC 507 is the dominant galaxy in this group that extends from NGC 512 in the north to IC 1689 in the south, from NGCs 515 and 517 in the east to IC 1669 in the west. There are 40-50 galaxies plotted in MegaStar within these bounds with the heaviest concentration in the eastern part around NGC 507. 507 visually is about 3' diameter with a bright non-stellar core. NGC 508 is a 1' diameter SO galaxy located 1.5' N of 507 so the outer portion of 507 surrounds 508. 4' SW of 507 is NGC 504, a magnitude 13 edge-on SO galaxy 1.5'x.4' in size elongated NE-SW. 7' to the WSW of 504 is NGC 494 a magnitude 12.8 Sab spiral 2'x.7' in size elongated EW. 5' to the SE of 504 is IC 1690, a faint edge-on galaxy about .5'x.2'. 5' to the NW of 507 is NGC 503, a small magnitude 14 oval about .7'x.5' elongated NS. 6' to the N of 503 is NGC 501, a magnitude 14.5 round galaxy about .4' in diameter. 4.5' to the E of 501 is NGC 510, a very faint and small object that would pop in and out of view. About 5' to the NE of 507 is CGCG 502-72, a small magnitude 15.2 galaxy that was just a .3' diameter glow. There were others plotted in the MegaStar field, but I did not detect them this night.

Arp 323 - NGC 7783 m14.1 1.2'x.5' 23h54.2m +023'. Arp Classification - Chain of galaxies. NGC 7783 is a double galaxy made up of PGC 72803 and 72808. Along with 72806 and 72810 they comprise Hickson 98. Three of the four share a common redshift within 200 Kps. The fourth, 72806, has a redshift almost twice that of the other three. This seems to be a common refrain amongst both Arp objects and Hickson groups. This group is located 1' S of a 10th magnitude field star and the whole group is only 2.5' from end to end. At 262x in the 16" 72803 was the largest and brightest of the group being .6'x.3' in size aligned NW-SE. 72808 is a small faint spot about .3' diameter .3' S of the SE end of 803. Another 1' S of 808 is a dim pair of 16th magnitude objects about 20" apart. The northern one of them is a star, but the southern one would occasionally appear non-stellar. This is 72810. 72806 is about .5' N from 803, but at 17+ magnitude, I did not have a definite positive detection. I did occasionally suspect something at that location, but was never quite sure whether my mind was playing tricks on my vision or not.

Arp 331 - Pisces Cloud. Located at 1h7.5m +3225'. Arp Classification - Chain of galaxies. This is another beautiful field with 12 galaxies easily seen in the field of a 9mm Nagler in the 16" scope. Centered on NGC 383 and aligned NS with a few outriders, I never get tired of filling my eyes with these photons. At the north end of the chain is NGC 379, a mag 12.8 SO galaxy 1.3'x.8' in size. 2.4' S of 79 is NGC 380, a mag 12.6 E2 galaxy 1.3' in diameter. Another 4.5' S from 380 is NGC 383, the largest and brightest of the chain. It is a mag 12.4 SO galaxy 1.8' in diameter. Tucked into its outskirts about .5' further S is NGC 382, a 13.2 E galaxy .6' in diameter. 2' to the SE from 83 is NGC 387, a tiny mag 16 E galaxy .3' in diameter that appears almost stellar. Another 2' S from 87 is NGC 386, a mag 14.3 E3 galaxy that is .8'x.5' in size. Another 2.7' to the S brings you to NGC 385, a mag 12.9 SO galaxy 1.2'x1' in size. And another 1.7' to the S ends up at NGC 384, a mag 13.1 E3 galaxy that is 1.1'x.9' in size. 4.5' to the E of 385 is NGC 388, a mag 14.3 E3 galaxy .9'x.8' in size. 5.9' to the W of 385 is NGC 373, a mag 16 stellar appearing E type .3' in diameter. 4.8' to the WNW of 385 is NGC 375, a mag 15.2 E2 galaxy .4' in size. And finally, 2.7' N from 375 is UGC 679, a faint mag 15.6 sliver of light 1.3'x.3' in size that is a real eye teaser after all the other relatively bright galaxies in the field. With larger aperture there are another half a dozen faint galaxies detectable in this same field, and I have seen the brightest 7 of the main chain in an 8" Meade SCT, so no matter what scope you are using, definitely check this field out.

Well, I did not get to all the Autumn Arps that I had originally intended to put into this article, but until I started on this I did not realize just how many multi-galaxy fields there are at this time of the year. Maybe I can slide another Fall article under the door, because there are a lot of fascinating Arps that did not get included in this one. See you with the Winter galaxies....210 down, 128 to go.