Hickson 51 in Leo

51aNGC 36511.1X1.1 13.213.4
51bIC 27590.8X0.6 14.613.5
51cNGC 36530.9X0.6 13.612.8
51dMCG+04-27-0300.3X0.3 14.711.7
51eMCG+04-27-0270.3X0.3 14.111.0
51fPGC 348990.5X0.2 14.2
51gPGC 34901 15.2

Hickson 51 in Leo is a challenging quintet packed into a 5' circle and located four degrees northeast of Delta Leonis (V = 2.6). The brightest members, NGC 3651 and NGC 3653, were discovered by William Herschel in 1785 during his comprehensive survey of the northern skies from England. He missed the fainter three members that I glimpsed in my 17.5" but it's easy to see why. Glowing dimly at 14th and 15th magnitude they required high power and patience to identify. - Steve Gottlieb