Shakhbazian 49 in Leo Minor

Shakhbazian 49 has reportedly been glimpsed in telescopes as small as 12 inches, but we didn't have too much luck with it. It's still worth a try, though, especially if you haven't seen the nearby NGC 3158 galaxy group, a clump of eight NGC galaxies. Shkh 49 lies only 20 arcminutes northeast of the group, just to the east of an 11th magnitude star.

This challenging compact group was a marginal object at 220x-280x. At 220x an extremely faint knot, perhaps 15", was glimpsed several times with averted vision, using a finder chart. At 280x, there was a strong impression of two very close 16th+ magnitude stellar objects, though could not view both objects simultaneously. Located 1.5' NE of a mag 10.5 star and 20' NE of the N3158 cluster. MCG +07-21-030 is situated 7.4' NW. - Steve Gottlieb