Observations of NGC3801
These are the observations available for NGC3801. If you have any of your own that you'd like to submit we'd love to put them on the website.
More of February's Galaxy of the Month
This is my sketch of the NGC 3801 galaxy group, or part of it made using the 20" and Watec video camera on 16 January 2016. I didn't know it as that group name when I observed it.
Dale Holt - 17 February 2017
NGC 3801 group in Leo from Suffolk
I had looked February's Galaxy of the Month up a few days ago and was looking forward to viewing it.
The early hours of 4th February had superbly transparent skies (NELM 5.6) and so NGC 3801 was my first target of the session with the 20" Dob.
I immediately saw NGC 3801 followed by its partner NGC 3802. It took a little bit of effort to locate NGC 3790.
I began my sketch of the view with the 13 ethos. Twenty minutes into the sketch, thinking I was done, I caught a hint of of fuzz, North of the obvious bright star. This of course was NGC 3806 which I had totally forgotten about. It is definitely the hardest of the four galaxies to see.
- NGC 3801: easy, immediately obvious and with a distinct core.
- NGC 3802: slightly fainter than NGC 3801, smaller and elongated, hint of a core at 470 times magnification.
- NGC 3790: elongated and smaller still.
- NGC 3806: easy to miss as it's large and faint, circular patch of fuzz.
This group provided a very rewarding 45 minutes of observing.
Mike Wood - 4 February 2017
NGC 3801 group in Leo from Norfolk
Was totally unprepared for the clear skies this morning, so didn’t get out of the house until 1.30am. Would have taken too long to get the 24" going as fully battened down because of the strong winds forecast so the 12" Mewlon it was.
Got observing by 1.50am but initially looking at Jupiter and a couple of Messiers with the 4” refractor whilst the Mewlon was acclimatising. Decided to see what I could detect of February's Galaxy of the Month in the Mewlon.
Spent over half an hour on it. Didn’t look at the charts beforehand and it was a full month ago that I observed the group with the 24" so couldn’t remember what was where, just had two numbers in my head; 3801 and 3806.
Sent the scope to NGC 3801 with 40mm Pentax in giving just x89. Immediately saw NGC 3801 but it was faint and nothing else seen. Put the 27mm Pan in giving x135 and started suspecting a faint galaxy directly above it (NGC 3802). Switched to 22mm Pan (x162) and confirmed this AV2.
I then kept to the 22mm Pan and 20mm Pentax (x179) alternating between the two eyepieces and couldn’t decide which was best so I think this was the optimum power for the conditions which I should say weren’t bad at this point; 21.1 SQM and NELM 5.5.
I was using a diagonal and they were on the meridian so North was up and West to the left in the eyepiece. After some scrutiny I picked up a galaxy to the left (NGC 3790), I think this was a tad easier in the 20mm Pentax (AV3).
Couldn’t detect anything else. So I then sent the scope to NGC 3806 whilst looking in the eyepiece. NGC 3801 moved to the lower left and slightly below centre I was picking up NGC 3806 AV3. I think it was just too close to the edge to pick up when NGC 3801 was in the centre.
So this sketch was made BEFORE looking at the chart. I then looked at the chart and had a look for NGC 3803 but no chance, also a bit of clagg was coming in and I now wasn’t seeing NGC 3802 either. I probably spent about 45 minutes scrutinising the field.
Switched to doubles as the skies got claggier and packed in just before 5am, not a bad unexpected session.
Andrew Robertson - 3 February 2017