Saturday, July 19, 2014

Globulars in a Teapot

July 17, 2014. Beaver Meadow. 80 mm ED [Astro-Tech F/7]. Globulars inside the Teapot [and M55]. Clear, transparency average with above average around. Comparatively chilly, relatively humid. Astronomical twilight 22:55, moonrise 23:55. Time 23:00.
M69 at the low power with the 40 mm Pentax is small, round, nebulous, and concentrated. It is located S of a star. At the high power, 8 mm setting of the Pentax zoom, 8-24 mm, appearance changes little but the core seems displaced to the N side in the halo.
M70 at the high power is fainter and less concentrated overall, although the very center is quite bright. Like M69 it does not show any resolution or distinctive graininess. A pair of equally bright stars is to the NNE. A slightly fainter star is on the E edge of the halo.
M54, farther E on the same line forming the base of the Teapot, at the high power has a faint halo that sharply transitions to a bright sharp core.
M55 to the E and S of the Teapot at the low power with the 40-mm Pentax presents a marvelous view, just skimming the edge of the treeline. It is grainy and slightly concentrated, comparatively large, diffuse and resembles Palomar 8 in a 16-inch. At the high power there appear to be a multitude of threshold stars across the globular. The concentration is very weak and broad. A comparatively bright star is on the SSE edge of the halo.
Time 23:40. SQM-L 21.21 overhead, 20.85 under the Teapot, and above 21 at 30 deg in all directions.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

July First Quarter


July 4, 2014. Beaver Meadow. 16” [F/4.5]. Clear, transparency above average to average. Dewpoint 8 deg. C. Slight fog on the field, does not seem to interfere. Moonset 00:35, astronomical twilight 03:35. Observations begun 00:30.
The nebulosity in M16 [see sketch] without a filter is pretty faint. Nicely framed by the Pentax XW40 at 45x. With the filter (OIII) the eagle shape is immediately apparent in the nebulosity, and the double lucida appears, as described by O’Meara, like the eyes of a flying ghost. Low power observations finished 01:05. 01:25. [M16] fits well into the field of 13 mm Ethos with OIII filter. Contour of the nebulosity is approximately the same as at low power. SQML 21.05 overhead and 20.85 in the area of M16. Medium-power observations finished 01:50. High-power observation of M16 finished 02:10.
Time 02:25. M92. At high power with the 8 mm Ethos the stars in M92 are resolved to the center. In the very center there is bright unresolved background. E of center there is a NNE-to-SSW line of stars. It is just beyond the bright central part, on the black background. Overall the cluster is framed by the Ethos well. A branch of stars runs SE and curves E in the outer halo. Another one runs N and curls sharply E then SE, and from there faint stars connect it to the tip of the previously described arm. A stubby arm runs SW.
M15. Time 03:00. M15 at low power [45x] has a distinctly warm tinge. It has an extensive halo and a sharp concentration in the middle. The core is positioned eccentrically in the off-round halo. There is darkness almost immediately to the E of the core, on which side the halo is flattened; it is round on all other sides. At the high power [230x with Ethos 8] there are many stars in the previously dark part of the halo, and the halo overall is distinctly irregular. There is a dark wedge intruding almost to the core from the W in the form of a sector without stars. The edges of this sector appear enhanced with the concentration of stars in the halo, and there are what seem to be two arms of stars pointing N and S. The E side of the halo is uniformly filled with stars, at a lower concentration but to the same radius of the halo. The warm tinge is preserved but more subdued; it appears that the very center is only slightly yellow, and many stars radiating toward the periphery are warm in color. However, at this magnification the coloration is subtle. The stars are resolved to the very center, although there is considerable bright background in the very center.
Time 03:20. M 73 at the low power is a small but well-isolated group of 4 stars in the form of a triangle with one star inside it. The two brightest stars form the small E side of the triangle. The S star of the two is the brightest. The triangle is pointed W and points at a bright field star many sizes of the asterism to the W. A fainter star pair is obliquely and more closely positioned to the S. To the E, at the same distance as the bright field star, is a triangle of equally bright stars that has a side equal to several sizes of the asterism, and this triangle points E. The entire distance between the bright star to the W and the triangle to the E occupies less than half of the Pentax XW40 field. At the high power the lucida in the SE corner is warmly tinged compared with the bluish-white three stars in the rest of the asterism. The star inside the triangle is slightly fainter than the other two bluish stars and is positioned close to the SW side of the triangle and closer to the W tip of the asterism.

Monday, July 7, 2014

June New Moon


June 27, 2014. Beaver Meadow. 16”. Clear, transparency average to above average, seeing average to good. Warm but not too humid. Astronomical twilight 23:10, 03:20. SQM-L 21.21 mag/sq arcsec overhead, 20.80 in the area of M8.
M8 is obvious with the naked eye. Telescopic observation with the 40 mm Pentax and 13 and 8 mm Ethoses begun 00:30, finished 02:00. See sketch. Observed with OIII filter.
Time 02:25. M2 is compact, textured, and concentrated at the low power, 45x with Pentax XW40. At high power with 8 mm Ethos M2’s stars are resolved over the entire cluster except the very center, about or less than 10% of the characteristic diameter. The very center is textured with at least one star resolved close to the geometrical center. Cluster is well framed by the Ethos and had a slightly triangular appearance pointing W.
Time 02:45. The pair of the blazar 3C 454.3 (distance 7 Bly, peaking) with the nearby 13th-magnitude star is visible already at the low power as a nebulous spot. At the high power (225x) the pair is completely resolved, and the relative brightness of the star and the blazar alternates with the shifting of the gaze. It is possible that the incompletely resolved companion of the star contributes to the star’s brightness.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Messier Globulars in Sco and Oph

June 3, 2014. Cherry Springs. 16”. Moonset 00:30. Astronomical twilight 03:30. Clear. 10-15 deg. C. 90% humidity. Transparency above average. Seeing poor. Time 01:25. SQM 21.67.
M80. Grainy at 45x with the Pentax [XW 40]. At 225x with the Ethos [8 mm] the periphery is fully resolved. The periphery is broadly extended to the W and ends with a gap to the E between two arms, one SE, the other N.
M4. At the low power, partially resolved across the core. A curious NS line across the core. At the high power the line is resolved into stars and has a gap in the middle. This gap is bracketed by a triangle, or a checkmark, of stars on the E side of the core, pointing E. Fills the field of the Ethos at the high power. [The central line of stars, which O’Meara calls a “cat’s eye”, was described by William Herschel. The “checkmark” feature is present in O’Meara’s drawing.]
M62 is textures at the low power. At the high power it is resolved on the periphery. The center is unresolved. Broadly elongated to the W and blunt on the E side, somewhat like the head of a comet. Has a long arm of stars leading N from slightly E of the core. In the middle of this arm is a nebulous patch. The telescope is just at the end of the altitude bearings fully covering the Teflon patch in the S-facing configuration. [The asymmetry was first noticed by John Herschel. The Hubble image suggests that the “nebula” in the E-to-N “arm” is but a group of stars.]
Time 02:00. M19 is not resolved at the low magnification, although there is a bright star on its NE side that appears surrounded by a dark area. The high magnification reveals in addition a similar star on the NW side slightly closer to the center. There is a bright clump between the first star and the center. The cluster is only partially resolved on the periphery. A better-resolved area on the S side on the cluster, to which it may be slightly elongated. [The two bright stars were noticed by J. Herschel. Stoyan says this globular has the highest ellipticity, Shapley E3-E4 in PA 15 deg.]
M107 is textured at the low power and located inside a Southern-Cross-like asterism. [Smyth: “crucifix”.] At the high magnification, stars are resolved across the center, but there is still a considerable unresolved background. An arm of stars is pointing NNW and forms the tail of a tadpole-like shape, with the main center of the cluster as the body. The head of the “tadpole” is facing W and is outlined by three bright stars that are running on the W edge of the core SW to NE. To the NW of this line is a relatively dark area. The dark sector pointing NW is outlined by the said arm and the said line of three stars.
M10 is very large and occupies half of the field diameter at the low power with its extended, but clearly distinguished from the background, periphery. The periphery consists of single stars that are uniform in brightness and concentrate toward the core, which is very small relative to the overall size of the cluster, and appears textured at this magnification. At the high power it is resolved across the center, although there is still an unresolved background in the middle. In the very center there is a ring of equally bright stars that is bent in from the E. Returning to the low power, in the outer halo there appear to be three clumps of stars, one pointing SSE, the other NE, and the third, weakest group, possibly just two stars, points NW. These three clumps impart a somewhat triangular appearance to the halo, even though they are located only halfway from the center to the detectable periphery of the resolved halo. This cluster is the most visually impressive at both high and low magnification of those that have been observed this night.
M12 at the low magnification in comparison is compact. It is partially resolved on the periphery. It is located inside a fan-like asterism, with the apex on the S side formed by a single star. At the high magnification are resolved across the center, and the background there is clumpy. The cluster’s halo is extended broadly to the W and is comparatively dark to the E, where it is tapered almost to a point. The angular appearance on the E side is due to a sharp dark lane running NNW to SSE on the NE side of the cluster between two lines of stars, and to what looks like a straight arm running symmetrically from the E apex toward SW.
Time 03:00.
M9 is unresolved but slightly textured at the low power and appears broadly extended to the W, with a pointed E side. At the high power the center is only clumpy, although many stars are resolved on the periphery. Two stars point E in the outer halo. There are many more stars in the outer halo to the W, which [part of the halo] is dominated by three bright stars running from the SW to the NE.
M14 at the low power appears milky, and there is a suggestion of rays in the halo. At the high power, many stars are seen, but the resolution is partial and doesn’t quite reach the center. Some stars are resolved across the center. Clumpy milky background dominates. Time 03:25.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Herschels in CVn, Night 4

The numbering of nights here skips over the ill-fated session on April 19, when I had to abandon plans for any systematic observing because of an unexpectedly poor transparency. (M51 exhibited all the major enhancements nevertheless, and I stole a good look at NGC 5195 between passing bands of haze.)
April 23, 2014. Cherry Springs. 12” Schmidt-Cassegrain [with Pentax 8-24 mm for 125-375x]. Clear, 0 C, 50% humidity. Transparency above average, seeing bad. Some wind. Continuing Hershel objects in Canes Venatici, including redoing those that were observed last time under poor conditions. Astronomical twilight 21:45, moonrise 03:35.
NGC 4662 is remarkable for its apparent distance and size: over 300 Mly and over 20 kly. It is a spiral. 21:45. Visually NGC 4662 is almost round with diffuse edges and slight concentration to the middle. [KIG 550.]
NGC 4704 is at a similar distance but more normal in size: 1’ and 100 kly. It is also a spiral. Visually it is small, round, and has little concentration.
NGC 4707 is a relatively nearby, 25 Mly, spiral Magellanic. Visually it resembles a diffuse and slightly off-round planetary nebula around a fairly bright star. According to Bratton, this is a Milky Way star superimposed on the center of the galaxy. [SDSS looks consistent with this.]
NGC 4711 is a lens-shaped galaxy elongated 2x1 and almost pointing at a faint star. A bright star is on the edge of the medium-power field with the Pentax 8-24 mm. [IC 3804.]
22:00. Zodiacal light extends past Gemini toward culminating Leo.
NGC 4719 is another fairly sizable, 150 kly, distant, over 300 Mly, spiral, 1.5’. Visually it is fairly faint, round, and diffuse, appearing slightly off-round due to a star that is superimposed slightly off center. [KIG 553. What exactly may be responsible for this appearance is difficult to see on SDSS, although there are some possibilities.]
NGC 4737 is a small, 0.5’, 50 kly, unclassified galaxy at 300 Mly. Bratton calls it lenticular. Visually it is relatively faint and compact, with a faint, well-defined starlike core.
NGC 4741. 128 kly, 400 Mly. Spiral. 1’. Visually NGC 4741 is comparatively large with diffuse edges and smooth concentration. Glimpses of a starlike nucleus.

NGC 4800

NGC 4800 is a spiral at 40 Mly. It is in the Herschel 400. Visually it is quite bright next to a field star. Another similarly bright star is toward the edge of the field at high magnification. The galaxy has a robust core, with a sharp concentration in the center. The core is almost round and represents ½ of the linear diameter of the galaxy. There is a bar-like structure extending almost orthogonally to the line between the stars to the edges of the halo. There are hints of arms segments connecting the ends of the bar, but it is difficult to tell even at the maximum magnification if the edges of the halo are indeed separated from the core. At the maximum magnification, it is clearly seen that the edge of the halo, or the separated segment of an arm, that is on the opposite side of the galaxy from the nearest star is much brighter than the edge of the halo that is facing the nearest star. These features correspond to the DSS in O’Meara’s Guide. [See sketch.]
NGC 4834 is a sizable spiral at 466 Mly. 122 kly. It is highly inclined. Its highly elongated form, at least 3x1, is best seen at the low setting of the zoom. At high magnification, only the roundish core remains visible.
22:50. Canes Venatici is culminating overhead. SQM 21.67.

NGC 4861

NGC 4861 is a 40-kly SBsm at 40 Mly. It is Arp 266. The compact HII region on the S end has been cataloged as UGC 8098. It was already described by Herschel as a star. 23:25. Finished the observation. See sketch. [VV 797, Arp 266, KPG 362. The identity of IC 3961 and derivative UGC and PGC designations with the NGC galaxy or the southern bright knot is inconsistent.]
NGC 4868 and 4914 are a pair at 200 Mly. NGC 4868 is slightly larger and brighter. It is involved in an asterism resembling Corvus. Both galaxies are comparatively bright and have comparatively well-defined edges and bright cores, and are almost round. NGC 4914 is embraced by an asterism resembling the Dipper that fills the field at 24 mm. The two galaxies do not quite fit in the field of the Pentax. [40 deg. Photographically, the elliptical NGC 4914 is larger than the spiral NGC 4868, although the spiral has better-defined edges.]
NGC 4932 is faint and diffuse next to a fairly bright star. It extends at least half-way [from its center] to the star. [This extent matches the photographic appearance.]
NGC 4956 is round and appears annular around a starlike nucleus. [Very fine annularity is just noticeable on SDSS.]
NGC 4963 is round and fairly compact. A faint star is just off its edge. [m13.7 superimposed on one of the two extremely faint and broadly sweeping arms well beyond the central spiral structure, just visible on SDSS.]
NGC 4985 is faint and round. Its edges are diffuse. It has a starlike nucleus. It forms a right triangle with two nearest field stars. The nearest field star is only slightly brighter than the nucleus. The other star in the triangle is twice as far away and considerably brighter. [Supposedly m18.6 and 14.0.]
00:40. SQM 21.77.
NGC 4986. Round. A star is embedded approximately half-way out from the center in the direction of the similarly bright, nearest field star. [Assuming that the field star to the S is meant and not the mag. 16 star to the N, the description indicates that the galaxy’s visible boundary encompassed the faint outer spiral structure.]
NGC 4987 is comparatively compact and round, has a starlike core that may be slightly eccentric. Half the field at the low power to the NE is a slightly fainter and more diffuse MCG galaxy mentioned by Bratton [PGC 45564]. The UGC galaxy in the same field cannot be seen [UGC 8222]. [The elliptical NGC galaxy is elongated in photographs.]
NGC 4998 is faint, small, and diffuse. At low power, it completes a Dipper-like asterism with three equally bright stars that just fit in the field. At high magnification, a faint star is revealed off the galaxy’s edge in the direction that would form the handle of the “Dipper”. [The star’s interpolated Vm is 15.3.]
NGC 5003. Fairly faint, round. Inside a right triangle of stars.
NGC 5005 at high magnification exhibits a strongly elongated core with a sharp but not starlike nucleus inside a massive halo that is generally brighter toward the W end of the elongated galaxy, but does not exhibit any traces of a spiral structure. [Caldwell 29. In the Herschel 400.]
NGC 5009. Small, faint, and diffuse next to a faint star. The galaxy is slightly elongated. The star is off its long edge. The galaxy appears to be as long as the distance between the center and the star. [Almost the entire extent defined by the outer arms is visible.]
NGC 5014. Comparatively bright. Strongly elongated. Elongated perhaps 5x1. Shaped like a thin lens. Ends are sharp. At low magnification, persistent glimpses of a starlike nucleus. [On SDSS the galaxy at the first glance looks like a miniature M82, with jets (that are blue) and orthogonal dust lanes in the center. The small central region outlined by these lanes may be the “nucleus” that was observed.]
NGC 5023. At low magnification it is almost as long as the radius of the field and extremely thin. It is gradually and broadly brighter to the middle. High magnification changes its appearance little. [On SDSS the galaxy is a thin lens, whose core is defined almost exclusively by yellowish color, rather than by brightness. The extensions are full of blue star associations.]
NGC 5025 is elongated 3x1 and otherwise featureless. It is a streak of light running W from a faint star. [Photographically, the star is superimposed on the middle of the eastern half of the edge that is facing NNW.]
Time 03:30. Finished a half-hour-long observation of NGC 5033. A lens-shaped core with a sharp but not starlike nucleus is easy. To see anything else I had to resort to continuously moving the field. This revealed a proximal arm segment, the “smearing” of the core toward its base, and a detached star cloud as depicted on the sketch. [In the Herschel 400 and O’Meara’s Secret Deep.]

NGC 5033

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Herschels in CVn, Night 3

March 31, 2014. Cherry Springs. 12” SCT [LX200GPS, and 8-24 mm Pentax for 125-375x]. Clear. 0 C, 70% humidity, transparency average. Time 21:15. Continuing Herschel objects in Canes Venatici.
NGC 4395

Time 22:15. Finished the observation of NGC 4395. It includes the Herschel object NGC 4001, which is an HII region, and two other NGC HII regions discovered by Lord Rosse. SQM 21.61. [See sketch. 15 Mly. At low power it displays an asymmetric bar in an unequally bright halo. The brighter northern rim of the halo is due to a spiral arm running there, but the arm remained invisible as such. At high magnification four relatively compact enhancements are visible on the galaxy’s periphery. The eastern one is at least as bright as the core and was described already by Herschel (NGC 4401). The two along the southern edge are due to Lord Rosse and have NGC designations 4399 and 4400. One more enhancement, on the NW side, is almost equally bright. Photographs show another one farther north, but it remained invisible to me. The starlike object that appeared to be within NGC 4399 may be the star that is off its W edge in photographs, although it may also be the actual bright knot in this enhanced area. The star superimposed immediately NE of the core is supposed to be Vm 17 but was seen quite clearly.]
NGC 4449

23:05-23:25. Observed NGC 4449. [See sketch. It is a relatively nearby (19 Mly) Magellanic popularized in the Herschel 400 and Caldwell observing lists. I first saw it eight years ago from Star Hill Inn in New Mexico, and subsequently with my 4” refractor. The four enhancements that were visible this time with the 12" might correspond to the “3 or 4 bright nuclei” described by Herschel; at least the central one with the sharp condensation is likely to be one of them.]
NGC 4485 and -90

00:00-00:20. Observed NGC 4485 and 4490. [See sketch. NGC 4485 and 4490 form the interacting pair VV 30 (KPG 341). In the Arp catalog it is placed (as #269) in the category of double galaxies with connected arms. Previously with the same telescope I had seen the extension of the main galaxy pointing in the direction of the companion. For some reason, during this new observation that bright inner arm (or an enhanced, star-forming inner edge of the W arm), did not extend past the core. The broad outer arm was seen instead, which extends farther W. The suggestion is that of embracing rather than pointing at the companion. The companion (NGC 4485) featured a visually detached star-forming region, which lies along the connection noticed by Arp, and the main galaxy (NGC 4490) had a similarly “free-floating” bright region near its core.]
00:45. NGC 4460. Very strongly elongated, perhaps 6x1. Slightly elliptical in shape. Concentrated toward major axis, but little concentration to the middle. NGC 4534. Slightly elongated, 3x2. Edges diffuse, little concentration.
NGC 4583. Small, round, almost no concentration.
NGC 4617. Very strongly elongated. Sharp faint ends. Elongation perhaps 6x1. Gradually brighter in the middle to a small core next to a faint star.
NGC 4618 and -25

01:30. Finished the observation of NGC 4618 and 4625, which together form Arp 23. [See sketch. Arp 23 is a pair of one-armed spirals, the larger NGC 4618 and the smaller NGC 4625. This pair is also KPG 349. I first saw the Herschel 400 object NGC 4618 with 4” a few years ago. It is actually two Herschel objects, because he cataloged the core and the large enhancement in this galaxy separately. Vorontsov-Velyaminov adopted a similar view, cataloging the core as his #73b and the arm as 73a. This time in my 12” SCT, the galaxies could be framed at a magnification that revealed their structure. In addition to the main part of the arm in NGC 4618, the bright proximal (E) and distal (W) parts of that arm were seen as detached enhancements.]
02:00. SQM 21.78. NGC 4619. Almost round, slight concentration, edges diffuse. Faint starlike nucleus.
NGC 4627 and -31

02:25. Finished observation of NGC 4627 and 4631. [See sketch. This "double galaxy with infall and attraction" (Arp 281) is ~40 Mly away. It is comprised of SB(s)d NGC 4631 and its elliptical companion NGC 4627. I have seen it under dark skies with apertures ranging from 4" to 24", but this new observation with 12" under excellent conditions proved the most revealing.]
Time 02:45. NGC 4655. Small, round, edges diffuse, no central concentration. Faint starlike nucleus.
NGC 4656-7

03:20. Finished the observation of NGC 4656 and 4657. [See sketch. This galaxy is component B of the physical pair KPG 350 with NGC 4631.]

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Herschels in CVn, Night 2

March 26, 2014. Cherry Springs. 12” Schmidt-Cassegrain. Continuing Herschel objects in Canes Venatici. Clear, -10 C, dewpoint -17. Relative humidity 40-70%. Transparency average by Clear Sky Clock, seeing bad. SQM 21.68 averaged in Canes and overhead.
21:10. The pair of NGC 4227 and 4229 is framed nicely at high power of the big Pentax zoom [8-24 mm]. Both are relatively faint and have diffuse edges, and both may be slightly elongated. Both have a relatively bright core, which is concentrated but not starlike. NGC 4229 is much fainter. Almost in the same direction from NGC 4227 is a faint star, which is much closer to NGC 4227, and almost in the opposite direction from NGC 4227 on the edge of the field at high power is a much brighter star. [296 and 307 Mly.]
NGC 4231 and 4232 are an even more distant pair. Also both of them are Herschel objects. It is almost touching. Both galaxies are round. NGC 4232 is noticeably brighter and has an observable core, which the other galaxy lacks. Both have diffuse edges. [334 and 328 Mly.]

NGC 4242. N up, W right.

22:05. Finished the observation of NGC 4242. At high magnification general outlines of most of the HII regions visible on the DSS can be seen. At low magnification the bar dominates. [32 Mly.]

NGC 4244. N approx. up, W right.

00:20. Since 23:35 I have observed NGC 4244. [Caldwell 26. 22 Mly.]

M106 and NGC 4248 (top right corner). N up, W right.

From 00:55 to 01:50 and from 02:20 to 02:45 I observed NGC 4248 and its larger companion NGC 4258, which is M106. [31 and 29 Mly. M106 is VV 448, a galaxy. NED contains no entries for parts of the VV object.]
NGC 4288. Very slight elongation. Almost no concentration. Edges diffuse. [33 Mly.] Time 03:00.
NGC 4346. Bright core slightly elongated. The galaxy is strongly elongated. In the core there is a sharp but not quite starlike nucleus. Fainter extensions along the major axis. Next to two equally bright stars. Forms an almost equilateral triangle with them. The extension along the major axis which is away from the two stars is brighter. [46 Mly. SDSSIII does not confirm the last feature.]
NGC 4357. Elongated 3 by 2. Appears to have an elliptical central lens with a faint starlike nucleus and thinner extensions along the major axis, one of them brighter. [On SDSSIII it is pretty strongly inclined spiral. One end of the outer spiral structure is indeed brighter. KIG 528. 191 Mly.]
NGC 4369. Bright sharp core. Faint starlike nucleus, possibly double, or an eccentric superimposed faint star, equally faint with the nucleus. Halo round and diffuse. [57 Mly. SDSSIII shows several sharp knots in the center. Two of them are particularly bright. The actual nucleus may be quite faint.]
NGC 4389. Shares the low-power field with the small, round, and otherwise featureless NGC 4392, which is also a Herschel object. NGC 4389 has a bright, strongly elongated elliptical bar that transects the very faint and almost round halo. Next to it in the direction of NGC 4392 is a comparatively bright star. On the opposite side and closer to the galaxy, almost on the edge of the halo, are two very faint stars. On the side of the bar which is closer to the bright star, halfway out from the center, is a faint compact knot, which is slightly off the major axis of the bar in the direction of the bright star. There is almost no concentration in the central part of the bar. NGC 4392 forms a Corvus-like asterism with three equally bright stars. [41 and 327 Mly. On SDSSIII the faint compact knot corresponds to a segment of the bar that is delineated by two dust lanes which diverge toward the bright star, i.e. to the N.] Time 03:30.