NGC/IC Project Restoration Effort
(This is a very very beta version)
Location and Magnitude
Right Ascension: 14:1:7.6
Year of discovery: 1859
Discovery aperture: 15.0
Summary description: * 12 in neb
NGC 5404. We used to believe that this is a double star with the two
components separated by 23 arcseconds. However, it was found by Sidney
Coolidge, one of the early Harvard observers, with the Merz 15-inch refractor.
A telescope that large was capable of easily resolving a 23-arcsecond double
star on even nights with the most dreadful seeing. Coolidge was making
routine observations for the Harvard Zone Catalogue, measuring accurate
positions for the stars. His position, listed both in the paper collecting
nebulae discovered at Harvard (in AN 1453) and in the Harvard Zones (HA 6,
30-31, 1872, where it is No. 172 in the sequence) has an internal mean error
of 2-3 arcseconds. That position pinpoints the object that Coolidge called a
"nebulous star" as the northern of the two stars.
For historical honesty, I've retained the positions that Wolfgang and I gave
earlier for the double. But this is clearly not Coolidge's object; he
measured only the northern of the two stars.