NGC/IC Project Restoration Effort
(This is a very very beta version)
Location and Magnitude
Right Ascension: 14:3:11.9
Visual Magnitude: 15.6
Discoverer: Herschel J.
Year of discovery: 1828
Discovery aperture: 18.3
Summary description: vF, S
NGC 5441 is probably a second observation of NGC 5440 -- in spite of what JH
has to say. "Taken for II.416, which it cannot be if the last obs be
correct. vF, S. [Sweep] 131." The position he gives is telling, too:
"13 56+-, 54 31 57" (RA and NPD for 1830.0). The date of the sweep is 11
The "last obs" he refers to is that of NGC 5440 (= H II 416) itself, seen
during sweep 72 on 27 April 1827. For this, JH has "13 55 39.5, 54 24 48. F,
S, R, bM; has a * 11m sp 1[arcmin] dist."
The object entered the catalogues as h1740 and GC 3755, and finally as NGC
5441 where it languished until Vorontsov-Velyaminov applied it to a faint
galaxy southeast of NGC 5440. Though this galaxy is approximately at JH's
position (11 seconds and 2.3 arcmin off), it is less than 30 arcsec in
diameter, and has a total B magnitude of 15.8. Even more telling, there are
other, brighter galaxies in the area that JH did not record, including another
close to N5440 itself (UGC 8955 about 6 arcmin to the northwest).
Since JH did not see N5440 in sweep 131, nor N5441 in sweep 72, and since his
position for N5441 is only approximate, I am going to suggest that h1740 is
actually a second observation of h1739 = N5440.
The situation was not helped by JH when he compiled the GC. The position
there is given to his normal full precision of 0.1 seconds of time, though the
accuracy in his 1833 list is only 1 minute of time. Furthermore, he has the
"Total No. of times Obs. by h. and H." in the GC as "3", yet there is only the
single entry in his 1833 list.
While this is not overwhelming evidence, I am still pretty sure that JH saw
only the brighter galaxy here, so have revised the main table accordingly.
In early July 2016, Steve Gottlieb sent an email reporting an observation of
VV's faint galaxy (MCG +06-31-053). Here is what he had to say:
A few days ago I made an observation of MCG +06-31-053 = PGC 50057, the
galaxy all modern sources identify as NGC 5441. Even from a dark site (in
the northeast corner of California) this was a fairly tough object using my
Although not noticed initially at 200x, it was just visible at 375x as a
15[arcsecond] roundish glow with a very low even surface brightness. It
required averted vision, but once noticed I could almost hold it
continuously with concentration.
I'm pretty confident this galaxy (the B magnitude is perhaps 16.0 or a bit
fainter) is too faint to have been noticed by JH. I probably would not have
noticed it initially without specifically looking for it. This strongly
suggests NGC 5441 is a duplicate observation of NGC 5440.
I'm taking this as further evidence that NGC 5441 is indeed a second
observation of NGC 5440, so have removed the colon on the identification in
the big table.
My thanks to Steve for this visual confirmation of my earlier suspicion of the
24" (7/1/16): at 375x; very faint or extremely faint, small, round, 15" diameter, very low even surface brightness. It required averted vision, but once identified I could almost hold the glow continuously with concentration. Located 5' SE of NGC 5440.
Although all modern sources identify NGC 5441 as this galaxy (PGC 50057), the number is more likely a duplicate of NGC 5440.
13.1" (6/18/85): possibly glimpsed as an extremely faint and stellar glow (uncertain sighting) 5' SE of NGC 5440.