Hickson 97 in Pisces

97aIC 53571.7X1.1 12.913.5
97bIC 53591.1X0.2 14.712.8
97cIC 53560.8X0.4 14.0
97dIC 53510.9X0.4 13.6
97ePGC 724050.3X0.2 16.6

This faint quartet was discovered by E.E. Barnard and is probably the brightest of the Shakhbazian groups! Hickson 97A (IC 5357) appears faint, small, elongated 3:2 NW-SE, 0.7'x0.4'. The halo gradually brightens to a small bright core and an almost stellar nucleus. Just 1.3' southwest lies Hickson 97D (IC 5351) which is an extremely faint knot attached on the north side of a mag 11 star which makes viewing even more difficult. Hickson 97C is on the south side of this compact group and is bracketed by two mag 14 stars off the SW and NE ends. This faint galaxy is only weakly concentrated and slightly elongated. Finally, Hickson 97B is the faintest in the group and required averted vision to glimpse an elongated streak oriented NW-SE. It's located less than 2' ENE of a mag 10 star which also detracts from getting a decent view. - Steve Gottlieb