NGC 4281, NGC 4273, NGC 4270 & NGC 4268 -- Galaxies in Virgo
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The NGC 4281 Galaxy Group
The star atlas, URANOMETRIA 2000, shows at least 16 galaxies in the two degrees surrounding
the Spiral Galaxy NGC 4281 in Virgo.  This wonderful grouping of galaxies is best observed from
a dark site with large mirrored telescopes.  From my suburban backyard using a 155mm
refractor, under a transparent sky, free from the now set moon, I was able to locate 6 members
of this impressive cluster of galaxies.  Within a half-degree field-of-view of NGC 4281, I was able
to find 3 additional galaxies.  NGC 4273 and NGC 4281 showed their cores and disks, but the
other two, NGC 4268 and NGC 4270, at first, revealed only their cores and resembled nothing
more than fuzzy stars.  Needless to say, the 100-million-year-old starlight from four separate
galaxies as seen from my house, in a modest-sized telescope, in a single eyepiece view, makes
for a fine night.