Messier 77 - NGC 1068

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Aladin viewer for the region around Messier 77
Cetus A
h 262, GC 600, 3C 71, MCG +00-07-083, ARP 37, UGC 2188, PGC 10266, SDSS J024240.70-000047.9

Type  Galaxy
Magnitude  8.8
Size  7.1' x 6' @ 70°
Right Ascension  2h 42' 40.7"  (2000)
Declination  0° 0' 48" S
Constellation  Cetus
Description  vB, pL, iR, sbMrrN
Classification  Sbp
Observing Notes

Andrew Cooper
Aug 18, 2021    Waikoloa, HI (map)
20cm f/6 Newtonian, Cave Astrola @ 76x
Seeing: 6 Transparency: 6 Moon: 0%

Small, very bright and obvious, a bright stellar core at the center of a bright 3' disk, an 11th magnitude star on the southeastern margin, NGC 1055 visible 38' northwest

Andrew Cooper
Nov 15, 2020    Waikoloa, HI (map)
20cm f/6 Newtonian, Cave Astrola @ 76x
Seeing: 6 Transparency: 6 Moon: 0%

Small, bright and obvious, round, 3' in diameter, a bright stellar core, a 10th magnitude star in the southeastern margin 1' from the core

Andrew Cooper
Dec 8, 2018    Kaʻohe, Mauna Kea, HI (map)
51cm f/4 Newtonian, Obsession #004 @ 58x
Seeing: 7 Transparency: 7 Moon: 0%

Small, round, a very bright core at the center, a star at the edge of the halo

Andrew Cooper
Aug 21, 2017    Grants Spring, OR (map)
76mm f/6 APO, TeleVue-76 @ 30x
Seeing: 7 Transparency: 7 Moon: 0%

Small, 3' across, bright, round, a very bright stellar core

Andrew Cooper
Aug 28, 2011    Hale Pohaku, HI (map)
46cm f/4.5 Newtonian, Deep Violet @ 175x
Seeing: 7 Transparency: 7 Moon: 0%

Bright, round, 5' diameter, a notably bright core with a stellar center, hint and bits of spiral structure in the halo

Andrew Cooper
Oct 21, 2006    TIMPA, Avra Valley, AZ (map)
12x36 Canon Image Stabilized Binoculars

Small, dim, but easily located off of Delta Ceti, almost stellar, a star unfocused

Andrew Cooper
Nov 14, 1998    Empire Mts., Pima Co., AZ (map)
20cm f/10 SCT

Very bright nucleus, resembles a planetary nebula, brightness falls off quickly beyond nucleus

Rev. T.W. Webb
May 19, 1885    Hardwick, Herefordshire, England (map)

1° f δCet, a little s. Small, faintish; very near 9 mg. star. William Herschel thought it at least 900 times more distant than a 1 mg. star! But qu. these inferences now? E. of Rosse spiral, bl. Lick Observatory spectra 5 bright lines and two dark ones.
― Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes, T. W. Webb, 1917

Captain William Henry Smyth
Oct 12, 1836    No. 6 The Crescent, Bedford, England (map)
150mm f/17.6 refractor by Tully 1827

A round stellar nebula, near δ Cet in the Whale's lower jaw, and about 2½° from γ Cet on the line towards ε Cet, or s. by w. This was first classed by Messier in 1780 as a mass of stars containing nebulosity. It is small, brigbt, and exactly in a line with three small stars, one preceding and two following, of which the nearest and largest is a 9th-magnitude to the sf. There are other minute companions in the field; and the place is differentiated from γ Ceti.

This object is wonderfully distant and insulated, with presumptive evidence of intrinsic density in its aggregation; and bearing indication of the existence of a central force, residing either in a central body or in the centre of gravity of the whole system. Sir William Herschel, after repeatedly examining it, says,—"From the observations of the large ten-feet telescope, which has a gauging power of 75.82, we may conclude that the profundity of the nearest part is at least of the 910th order." That is, 910 times as far off as the stars of the first magnitude!
― A Cycle of Celestial Objects Vol II, The Bedford Catalogue, William Henry Smyth, 1844

John Herschel
Nov 24, 1827    

Very bright; not very large; round; pretty suddenly brighter toward the middle; has a star 2' distant at 40 deg south following

Charles Messier
Dec 17, 1780    

Cluster of small stars, which contains some nebulosity, in Cetus & on the parallel of the star Delta, reported of the third magnitude, & which M. Messier estimated to be hardly of the fifth. M. Méchain saw this cluster on October 29, 1780 in the form of a nebula."
― Connaissance des Temps, 1781
Other Data Sources for Messier 77
Nearby objects for Messier 77
6 objects found within 60'
84 Ceti Delta Ceti NGC 1055
NGC 1072 NGC 1087 NGC 1090
Credits...

Drawings, descriptions, and CCD photos are copyright Andrew Cooper unless otherwise noted, no usage without permission.

A complete list of credits and sources can be found on the about page

Messier 77