Sky Object of the Month – June 2017

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Sky Object of the Month – June 2017

(Courtesy LVAS Observer’s Challenge*)

NGC 6015 – Draco (Mag. 11.1; Size 5.4’ X 2.3’)

            This month’s LVAS Observer’s Challenge, the spiral galaxy NGC 6015 in Draco, was discovered by William Herschel on the evening of June 2, 1788.  Herschel catalogued each of his finds into eight categories. This one was designated H.III 739 – the 739th object in Herschel’s Category III (Very faint nebulae).

            And there’s the challenge. What is the smallest scope that can capture this 11th magnitude galaxy, and how much detail can be picked up with large-aperture instruments? You’ll find NGC 6017 by concentrating on an area about one-half degree ESE of a 5th magnitude star that forms a parallelogram with eta (η), theta (q), and iota (i) Draconis.

            Estimates of the distance to NGC 6015 vary from 38 million to 50 million light years. If we accept a median distance, the galaxy is approximately ¾ the diameter of our Milky Way.

                                                                                                               Glenn Chaple for the LVAS





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