Groombridge 1830 (High Proper Motion Star) & NGC 3941 (Galaxy) in Ursa Major
Groombridge’s Runaway Star & Galaxy NGC 3941
I only had a little over two-hours before the gibbous moon rose in the east, but the sky was too
clear and transparent for me not to try and bag a couple of galaxies from my deck before the
bright moonlight sent me to bed. After sunset, I waited for the sky to reach its maximum
darkness by sending the 155mm refractor to Groombridge’s Runaway Star (magnitude 6.45).
I knew that when the nearby Herschel 400 galaxy, NGC 3941, became visible (magnitude 10.3)
that my quest for additional galaxies could begin.
Groombridge’s Runaway Star, also known as Groombridge 1830 or Argelander’s Star, is
renowned for its High Proper Motion (it moves quickly, for a star, across the night sky). Although
first catalogued by Stephen Groombridge in 1806, it was not until 1842 that Friedrich Wihlem
Argelander noticed that it showed impressive movement.
By the time I finished drawing the background stars around Groombridge’s Runaway Star, the
faint glow of NGC 3941 was all so slightly showing in the eyepiece. Bumping the power to 182x,
the Lenticular Galaxy appeared circular with a starlight nucleus.