NGC/IC Project Restoration Effort
(This is a very very beta version)
Location and Magnitude
Right Ascension: 9:43:31.2
Visual Magnitude: 13.3
Discoverer: Herschel W.
Year of discovery: 1802
Discovery aperture: 18.7
Summary description: eF, vS
NGC 2908. WH's position, reduced by CH and given in her fair copy of the
Sweeps, lands closer to a double star than it does to the faint spiral that is
usually taken as H III 977. This has led me to wonder whether WH might
actually have picked up the brighter double star rather than the fainter
However, Dreyer (in his Notes to WH's catalogues in the Scientific Papers)
notes the offsets from another star in the sweep. These give a position
closer to the galaxy than to the double star. Dreyer also notes that
Bigourdan's observation accords better with the position derived from this
second star (Bigourdan certainly saw the galaxy on the one night he measured
it; on a poorer night a few years later, however, he was unable to see it).
All these positions are in the big table, credited to WH and Bigourdan as
Given that the second star is closer to the galaxy than the first, we should
probably give it greater weight than the first when deciding on a position
derived from WH's observations. The position from that second star is just an
arcminute north of the galaxy; the double star is several arcminutes to the
northwest. Thus, I'm pretty sure that WH did in fact see the galaxy, faint as
His full description, by the way, reads "eF, vS. I also saw it with 300.
iF." The "iF", omitted from the GC and NGC summary descriptions, may also be
relevant. The faint galaxy has two fainter stars superposed on it which may
have lent the impression of "irregularity."
17.5" (4/6/02): faint, fairly small, round, 0.8' diameter, low but uneven surface brightness. A mag 10 star is 6' ENE. Located 35' NNW of a mag 6.1 star.