Shakhbazian 16 in Draco

MCG+9-27-94 15.3
MCG+9-27-91 16.0
MCG+9-27-92 16.6
MCG+9-27-95 16.2
MCG+9-29-96 16.3

Andreas Domenico calls Shakhbazian 16 the most beautiful Shakhbazian group by far, but we found it a pretty tough nut to crack. I could pick up three members intermittently with averted vision. With great persistence Steve managed to glimpse a couple more.

Shakhbazian 16 is a remarkable compact linear chain of five virtually stellar 16th magnitude galaxies in Draco, also catalogued as Arp 330. A fairly bright star (mag 9) is practically situated on top of the group to provide additional frustration. Two of the members were visible at 280x with a little effort but I spent the next hour waiting for glimpses of the remaining members. I didn't give up, though, until I was convinced I had glimpsed four of the members. It was an exhausting but satisfying way to end an evening of observing. - Steve Gottlieb

Observing Notes on Shakhbazian 16

M+09-27-091 = A1648+53A = Arp 330 = Shkh 16-2
16 49 08.3 +53 23 33
Size 0.2x0.2

17.5" (5/15/99): furthest south in the Shkh 16 chain. On first glance at 280x this galaxy and Shkh 16-1 were the only two that were immediately picked up. Once the position was pinpointed, I could almost hold this object continuously with averted vision. Appeared extremely small, but definitely nonstellar, ~10" in size.

17.5" (4/15/99): this galaxy is the second brightest in the Shkh 16 chain but still was quite challenging. It appeared as an extremely faint, round knot, at most 10" in diameter. Cannot hold steadily but visible ~2/3 of time with averted vision. Located at the S end of the chain 1.7' S of Shkh 16-1 and 3.5' SW of a mag 9 star which really detracts from observing these nearly stellar galaxies.

M+09-27-096 = A1648+53D = Arp 330 = Shkh 16-5
16 49 11.2 +53 25 57
Size 0.2x0.15

17.5" (5/15/99): one of the two fainter members of Shkh 16 which were glimpsed. I'm certain of the sighting as it was detected several times although the image was stellar and fleeting. Interestingly, I didn't see nearby Shkh 16-4 which I thought was marginally detected last month although this galaxy wasn't noted!

M+09-27-094 = I Zw 167 = = Z276-045 = Z277-002 = A1648+53C = Arp 330 = Shkh 16-1
16 49 11.5 +53 25 11
V = 14.6; Size 0.3x0.25

17.5" (5/15/99): picked up immediately at 280x just 2.0' SW of a 9th magnitude star. This is the only member of Shkh 16 which is not difficult and was visible continuously as an 0.3' round knot. Four galaxies were observed with patience and concentation within a 3.5' chain!

17.5" (4/15/99): this galaxy is the brightest in Shkh 16 = Arp 330 which consists of five galaxies in a 3.5' chain oriented N-S. Appeared very faint, extremely small, round, 15" diameter. Visible continuously with averted vision. The view is severely hampered by 9th magnitude SAO 30113 which is situated just 2.0' NE! The other members were extremely challenging with Shkh 16-2 = M+09-27-092 located 1.7' S at the south end of the chain.

M+09-27-092 = A1648+53B = Arp 330 = Shkh 16-3
16 49 12.6 +53 24 18
Size 0.2x0.2

17.5" (5/15/99): this difficult member of Shkh 16 popped into view for moments several times and that's about it! No details and seemed quasi-stellar. Bracketed by brighter Shkh 16-1 and Shkh 16-2 just 1' N and 1' SW.

17.5" (4/15/99): this marginal galaxy in Shkh 16 was only glimpsed for moments at 280x and 380x and very difficult to confirm. Sandwiched between Shkh 16-1 just 0.9' N and Shkh 16-2 just 1.0' SW.

M+09-27-095 = A164853E = Arp 330 = Shkh 16-4
16 49 15.4 +53 26 51
Size 0.3x0.2

17.5" (4/15/99): another marginal galaxy in Shkh 16. It is the furthest north in the chain and was possibly glimpsed a few times at 280x and 380x just 1.1' NW of mag 9 SAO 30113.