NGC 2782 -- Spiral Galaxy in Lynx
A Dim Galaxy in a Dim Constellation
On March 7th we were provided the most transparent skies that we ever get over Central
Maryland.  At a local park, I could make out all the stars that compose the Little Dipper.
That means that I could see 5th magnitude stars overhead (that is a full magnitude fainter
than I can get at the house on a good night).  Of course, the sky quickly degenerated near the
light polluted horizons, but still from where I live this level of sky transparency is unfortunately

I keep a list of failures – objects that I think might be possible to observe but continuously
elude me from Central Maryland.  This list is sadly quite long.  I pulled the list out on the night of
March 7th due to the quality of the skies and with the 110mm refractor claimed victory (finally)
over NGC 2782, a galaxy in Lynx.  Even on such a good night it still was not easy in the
telescope and required a little work.  Sorry about it appearing so dim in the drawing but to
make it any brighter would just not be honest.

This small smudge is in reality, one impressive galaxy that contains trillions of stars and spans
100,000 light years from end to end.  It has an active galactic nucleus (it is a Seyfert Galaxy)
and due to a couple of adjacent loops in its spiral arms was added to the ARP Atlas of
Peculiar Galaxies.  

Of course, I was just glad to see it, even though it showed no detail in the small refractor.  I
confess that there is always a degree of satisfaction in removing at object from my list of