Hickson 68 in Canes Venatici

68aNGC 53532.2X1.1 11.011.8
68bNGC 53541.4X1.3 11.411.9
68cNGC 53503.2X2.3 11.313.3
68dNGC 53551.2X0.7 13.112.8
68eNGC 53581.1X0.3 13.612.3

Another target for an 8" is Hickson 68 in Canes Venatici, located 8 degrees southeast of M51, the Whirlpool galaxy. The two brightest members are 11th magnitude NGC 5353 and NGC 5354 and they form a striking 1.2' pair. The largest galaxy in the group, NGC 5350, appears as a diffuse glow about 4' to the north although a 6.5 magnitude star just 3' southwest detracts from viewing. The two remaining members, NGC 5355 and 5358, will probably require a 10-inch to 12-inch aperture. - Steve Gottlieb