Circumpolar Galaxies

NGC 3172 by David Ratledge

The most familiar northern galaxy is NGC 3172, which lies about 1° below the celestial north pole.
David Ratledge

In our February 2016 issue, Contributing Editor Steve Gottlieb provided some inspiration for observing galaxies in "the far north," or above +85° declination. On a single night at a remote site in the Sierra Nevada range (7,200 feet elevation), he observed 35 circumpolar galaxies, including a few below the +85° cutoff limit. Here, we're providing a complete list of those 35 galaxies, with their surface brightness, magnitude, position angle, size, and position. You can download the list as a PDF for printing or as an Excel file to add to your planetarium/scope management program.

If you decide to explore the northern celestial frontier, drop us a line and let us know how it went. Were you challenged by the polar region? Did you identify the dimmest galaxies?

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