Linx with a Bear’s Claw
By Jeff Young (NGC 2537 The Bear's Claw Galaxy)
NGC 2537, the Bear’s Claw Galaxy
Sketch and Details by Jeff Young
I spent quite a bit of time viewing this one, trying as I might to eek out the bear-paw shape. In the end, I managed the 4 bright knots, but the dark lane which defines the paw eluded me. The rather poor seeing might have been in play here, although my transparency for the night wasn’t great either.
The Bear Paw’s unusual shape also contributed to its interesting history. William Herschel compared it to a planetary in his original (1787) observation: “… almost of an even light throughout, approaching to planetary, but ill defined and a little fainter on the edges…”. His son John, evidently having resolved some of the knots, thought it a globular cluster: “…very nearly uniformly B[right], but hazy at the edges. It is a resolved globular cluster. Being a remarkably fine night, I see the stars; they are 20th mag….” In the end, it took Lord Rosse’s 72” Leviathan and several observations during the late 1840’s and 1850’s to identifiy it as a “spiral nebula” (i.e.: galaxy).
Bear Paw Galaxy / Arp6 / NGC2537
Dwarf galaxy in Lynx
Sketched Jan 23, 2009 from County Louth, Ireland,
as viewed through 16” Mak-Cass @235X; Pickering 3, NELM 5, SQM 20.4
Daler-Rown ey HB Graphic pencil on white cartridge paper. Scanned and inverted in Photoshop.