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  Constellation Guide COMA BERENICES

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scopeman

scopeman

Posts : 116
Join date : 2011-08-23

PostSubject: Constellation Guide COMA BERENICES   Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:19 pm

Coma Berenices - The Hair of Queen Berenice



Pronounced "Co - mah - bur - renn - iss - seez"



Where to find the constellation









Constellation Chart









Coma Berenices is quite a faint, and often difficult to discern constellation. It's brightest star (beta) is only magnitude 4.2, with alpha (Diadem) at 4.3 and gamma at 4.4, making a faint triangle.

However, for such an undistinguished constellation, it contains more than it's fair share of Messier objects, as well as many NGC-classified galaxies - some nice double stars, a very large naked-eye open cluster, and has the honour of containing the North Galactic Pole (NGP)

According to legend, Berenice had her hair clipped, and presented to her husband, Ptolemy III of Egypt, after his victorious return from the war - During the festivities, the hair was stolen, and the high priest was to be sacrificed for the crime - the astronomer Conen saved the priest by proclaiming that the Goddess Aphrodite had accepted the hair as an offering, and had placed it among the heavens, near to Leo the Lion.



M53 - mag 7.7 globular cluster.

Easily visible in binoculars, stars begin to resolve in a 4" scope.







M64 - the Blackeye Galaxy







M85

With plenty of aperture, you may be able to spot nearby, fainter, ngc4394







M88







M91







M99







M100











Melotte 111

Mel 111, also known as the Coma star cluster, is a very large open cluster - Visible by naked eye if you have a dark sky, it looks like (but isn't) a detached piece of Milky Way.

About 5 degrees across, it is far too big to view the whole cluster in atelescope, even binoculars of 15x or more won't show the whole cluster -best viewed in binocs of 7x to 10x.







ngc5053 is another globular cluster, near to M53, but much fainter, and more difficult to resolve the individual stars.





ngc4565 - thin, spindle-like galaxy ( AKA - Caldwell 38 )







Also two quite nice double stars reside in Coma berenices.

The stars '24' and '35' are both yellow stars, with a fainter blue-ish companion.

24 - is mag 5, with the companion at mag 6.5, about 20 arcseconds away.

35 - is mag 4.8, with the companion very close in (1 arscsec separation) at mag 7 - there is also a 3rd element to this system, a 9th magnitude white star, about 29 arcseconds away.





Note....

The Coma star cluster (Mel 111) should not be confused with the Coma cluster of galaxies.

The Messier galaxies to the South of Coma Berenices are actually part of the Virgo supercluster - but there are a wealth of more distant (and therefore fainter) NGC-classified galaxies to the North of the constellation, which can be seen around - and through - Mel 111.

These are the Coma galaxy cluster.

The star cluster and galaxy cluster appear to be more or less together in space - but this is just a line-of-sight effect.

The star cluster is within our own galaxy - whereas the galaxy cluster is far-FAR beyond our galaxy.





Coma Berenices NGCs (with magnitudes) - from my own "1200 Northern NGCs" list

For those with 'GoTo' or a good chart.

Restricted to Mag11 (to keep the numbers down)

4136 - Gal - 11

4147 - GC - 10.3

4192 - Gal - 10.1 (m98)

4203 - Gal - 10.9

4251 - Gal - 10.7

4254 - Gal - 9.9 (m99)

4274 - Gal - 10.4

4278 - Gal - 10.2

4293 - Gal - 10.4

4314 - Gal - 10.6

4321 - Gal - 9.4 (m100)

4350 - Gal - 11

4382 - Gal - 9.1 (m85)

4394 - Gal - 10.9

4414 - Gal - 10.1

4450 - Gal - 10.1

4459 - Gal - 10.4

4473 - Gal - 10.2

4477 - Gal - 10.4

4494 - Gal - 9.8

4501 - Gal - 9.6 (m88)

4548 - Gal - 10.1 (m91)

4559 - Gal - 10 ( Caldwell 36 )

4565 - Gal - 9.6 ( Caldwell 38 )

4651 - Gal - 10.8

4689 - Gal - 10.9

4725 - Gal - 9.4

4826 - Gal - 8.5 (m64 - Blackeye galaxy)

5024 - GC - 7.7 (m53)

5053 - GC - 9.8
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MikeW

MikeW

Posts : 5
Join date : 2011-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Constellation Guide COMA BERENICES   Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:49 pm

nice guide this one, seems its a galaxy hunters minefield around here Very Happy Very Happy

might have to try and bag a few soon Smile
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astrolover

astrolover

Posts : 95
Join date : 2011-08-23
Age : 30

PostSubject: Re: Constellation Guide COMA BERENICES   Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:50 pm

Nice one, this constellation is a stunner from a dark site esp the large open cluster.
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mm5agm

mm5agm

Posts : 18
Join date : 2011-08-23

PostSubject: Re: Constellation Guide COMA BERENICES   Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:50 pm

Excellent guide!!
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astro_alan

astro_alan

Posts : 37
Join date : 2011-08-23
Age : 38

PostSubject: Re: Constellation Guide COMA BERENICES   Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:51 pm

I've been working my way along from Leo towards Coma Bernicies as I'm an avid galaxy hunter. If it clears up tonight as its supposed to Im going to concentrate on this constellation. Your guide is invaluable. Many thanks
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purpleR



Posts : 4
Join date : 2011-08-23

PostSubject: Re: Constellation Guide COMA BERENICES   Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:52 pm

I'll be working on this one. Excellent work
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