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Old 14-06-2024, 10:32 AM
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glenc (Glen)
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Caroline's galaxy

NGC 253
On 23 Sep 1783 Caroline Herschel discovered what turned out to be a galaxy, NGC 253, with a 4.2” reflector. It was the only galaxy that she found. All the galaxies found before NGC 253 were Messier objects except for a part of M51, NGC 5195, and the Magellan Clouds.

Her brother William Herschel was impressed and decided to search for nebulae and clusters. He discovered an amazing 2,138 galaxies with an 18.7” speculum reflector between 28 Oct 1783 and 30 Sep 1802, mostly from Slough, UK.

William’s son John discovered 1,150 galaxies between 6 Aug 1823 and 22 Jan 1838 with the same telescope from Slough, UK and Cape Town.

The attached image is from the ESO at La Silla, Chile
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Old 14-06-2024, 10:41 AM
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glenc (Glen)
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These 8 people found 50 or more bright galaxies.
(Galaxies brighter than mag 13)

Number found, Name
1459 Herschel W. using an 18.5" reflector
699 Herschel J. using an 18.5" reflector
192 Swift L. using a 16" refractor
113 Stewart using photography
83 Stephan using a 31" reflector
73 d'Arrest using an 11" refractor
71 Marth using a 48" reflector
50 Dunlop using a 9" reflector

The data is from http://www.klima-luft.de/steinicke/ngcic/ngcic_e.htm

Last edited by glenc; 17-06-2024 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 14-06-2024, 11:37 AM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenc View Post
NGC 253
On 23 Sep 1783 Caroline Herschel discovered what turned out to be a galaxy, NGC 253, with a 4.2” reflector.
Ah nup, apparently it was me..?



Mike
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Old 14-06-2024, 11:54 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Hi Glen,
Thanks for the detailed information
Excellent
It’s remarkable how they discovered all these galaxies with by today’s standards, primitive equipment.I suppose in those days light pollution didn’t exist , dark skies did help a lot.
There’s also a good write up about the Herschel’s in the book “Pearls of the Southern Skies” ( written by 2 notable South African Astronomers ) I bought it a few years ago.

https://www.amazon.com.au/Pearls-Sou.../dp/1770854452

My wife and I visited the Royal Observatory Greenwich as part of our UK tour this time last year.
Also some excellent historical info about the Herschel’s and other British astronomers in the museum.
They both lived extraordinarily long lives considering the average life expectancy was around 50 to 60 in those times.
Here’s a couple of portraits I found in the museum ( copies obviously)

Cheers
Martin
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Old 14-06-2024, 05:31 PM
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glenc (Glen)
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Thanks Mike and Martin.
In 1979 I bought my first telescope, a 4.5" reflector from K-Mart.
The first galaxy that I saw with it was Caroline's galaxy.
The last time I saw it was this morning, with a 12" Dob.
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Old 14-06-2024, 06:18 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Originally Posted by glenc View Post
Thanks Mike and Martin.
In 1979 I bought my first telescope, a 4.5" reflector from K-Mart.
The first galaxy that I saw with it was Caroline's galaxy.
The last time I saw it was this morning, with a 12" Dob.
I’d say without any question of doubt that your an extremely experienced astronomer with 45 years under your belt, Wow !!
Astronomy ended up being a hobby in retirement for me , started in 2016 and bought my first scope in mid 2017 , a 10” GSO Bintel Dob from Don Whiteman.
I’m more of an imager now but when conditions are good I really enjoy getting my SW 12” Goto Dob out during new moon at my retirement retreat South Coast NSW and throwing the Televue 21mm Ethos into the focuser. Breathtaking views what ever your observing
Cheers
Martin
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