NGC 247 -- Dwarf Spiral Galaxy in Cetus
A Milkweed Seed in the Whale
NGC 247 is a difficult target since it is so low in the southern sky from my location. It is located
in the constellation of the Whale (Cetus). Travel to a local park that provided a better view of
the southern sky was needed for me to make this drawing. NGC 247 is a close Dwarf Spiral
Galaxy seen nearly edge on. At first only its core showed in the eyepiece. With a little
work, a southern spiral arm thread could be teased out. The northern spiral arm was
even fainter, shorter and squat in shape.
A triangle of 9th to 11th magnitude stars is adjacent to NGC 247. One of the stars
(magnitude 9.5) rests at the southern tip of the thin spiral arm. The appearance to a
milkweed seed was apparent in the 110mm refractor with the star (the seed), the galaxy's
core (the seed’s aerial fluff) with the thin southern spiral arm connecting them. Since the
northern spiral arm is all but invisible in the eyepiece it was easy to get the feeling of watching a
ghostly Milkweed Seed blowing through the cosmic Whale.