44 is a cluster of four gravitationally bound galaxies that lie
relatively nearby to our own Milky Way. Each of these galaxies
shows signs of interaction, such warped disks or a large bright bar.
The entire grouping spans 15', small enough to be seen together in
the same field of view.
The brighter three
members have been seen in 8-inch telescopes, and I suspect that the
two brightest, NGC 3190 and NGC 3193, can be glimpsed in a 6-inch.
The faintest member may pose a challenge in a 12-inch.
Hickson 44 makes a nice
grouping of in my 18-inch at 94x. The brightest member is NGC
3190, cataloged as a 12.1 magnitude edge-on spiral galaxy that
appears as a very elongated haze with a bright inner core.
This galaxy has a large dust lane on the southwest side, which may
be glimpsed with averted vision as an unusually hard edge on that
side. Be sure to try more magnification to bring out the lane.
The next brightest is
NGC 3193, a 12th magnitude elliptical galaxy that appears as a
round hazy spot near a 10th magnitude star.
More difficult is NGC
3185, a 13th magnitude nearly-face-on barred spiral. The
faintest member is the 14th magnitude NGC 3187, a spiral galaxy with
a bright bar. I almost overlooked this one at the eyepiece
because it is so faint. It appeared elongated and diffuse.
The field in an 8-inch at
150x. North is down and east is to the right.