The Siamese Twins

Interacting Galaxy Pair
NGC 4568 aka PGC 42069, MCG 2-32-152, Uppsala 7776

NGC 4567 aka  PGC 42064, MCG 2-32-151, Uppsala 7777
RA: 12h36m34.4s, Dec: +1114'18" (2000) in Virgo
Magnitude: 11.7/12.1
Size: 4.4'x 2.0' / 2.8' x 2.0'

Minimum requirements to detect: 5-inch scope under dark skies

 

The Siamese Twins are a pair of interacting galaxies in the Virgo cluster (NGC 4568 & NGC 4567). NGC 4568 is an 11.7 magnitude spiral galaxy of intermediate orientation. NGC 4567 is a 12.1 magnitude nearly face on spiral galaxy. These galaxies lie at a distance of about 50 million light years.

Robert Burnham Jr. suggested that this pair might be a chance alignment due to the apparent lack of "tidal filaments or distorted structure" in the long exposure photographs of the time. More recent observations, particularly in the infrared, indicate that they are indeed interacting.

This pair of galaxies is visible in smaller instruments as a nearly uniform v-shaped haze. Larger instruments will show mottling, particularly in the southern twin (NGC 4568). This mottling is a sign of the detail seen in photographs, which is just at or beyond the observer's ability to resolve clearly. Look for a brighter, nearly stellar center to NGC 4567, about 3/5 the way from the "V" and a knot in NGC 4568 at a similar distance.


The view in a 6-inch at 50x.

 

Millennium Star Atlas Vol II Chart 725
Sky Atlas 2000 Chart 14
Uranometria 2000 Vol I Chart 194
Uranometria 2nd Ed. Chart 90
Herald-Bobroff Astroatlas B-05 C-39

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