Abell 194

Sky & Telescope Contributing Editor Ken Hewitt gives us a guided tour through Abell 194, a visually rich galaxy cluster in Cetus.

Abell 194 Galaxy Cluster

Galaxy cluster Abell 194 ranges from northeast to southwest, with the brighter galaxies congregated in the northeast. Russell Croman captured this LRGB image with a 20-inch f/8 Ritchey-Chrétien Cassegrain telescope.

In the November issue of Sky & Telescope, Contributing Editor Ken Hewitt-White took us deep-sea diving with the winter constellation Cetus, the Sea Monster. Using Theta (θ) Ceti as a starting point, Hewitt-White star-hopped us to the galaxy cluster Abell 194, which includes Arp 308 (NGC 545 + NGC 547) and Minkowski's Object (in the halo of NGC 541). Although sometimes described as an "easy" cluster, Abell 194 is chock full of dim objects, so aperture may be your best tool here.

Abell 194 is a relatively tight cluster as well, with a dozen or so galaxies arranged along a line about 1° long. Once you locate the brighter smudges of Arp 308, you should be able to ease slowly to the southwest to observe the other cluster members. After you've checked all the Abell 194 boxes, look southeast of the cluster's center to find IC 119 and its neighbors.

To help you find your way, Hewitt-White has written up an object table that includes positions, magnitudes, surface brightness, and position angles. Just click on the link here to download the the information as a .pdf.

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