IC 1296
aka PGC 62532, MCG 6-41-22, Uppsala 11374
RA: 18h53m17.1s Dec: +33°03'58" (Lyra)
Integrated Visual Magnitude: 15.5
Angular Diameter: 1.0' x 0.6'
Mean Surface Brightness: 23.6 Mag/arc-sec²

Minimum requirements to detect: 12-inch or larger scopes under dark skies

This one poses quite a challenge.  IC 1296 is a faint, face-on barred-spiral galaxy that just happens to lie within 4' of the famous Ring Nebula in Lyra.  You've probably looked right at it on many occasions without seeing it!

It's quite rare to see galaxies near planetary nebulae because the planetaries are found along the disk of our galaxy.  It is in this disk that the majority of the obscuring dust lies, which usually blots from view any far away galaxies that lie beyond.

Look for a 1' elongated smudge of light surrounding a bright, starlike core.  This core should be visible in modest sized instruments, but seeing the surrounding haze is much more difficult.  You will need a clear, dark, and steady night with Lyra high in the sky.  Find the central star from the photograph and then use averted vision to try to see the rest of the galaxy.  Remember, be patient!

The view in a 12" LX200 at 100x. North is down and East is right.

This image from The Digital Sky Survey shows a 12' x 12' region about IC 1296. The ring nebula is in the upper right.

Millennium Star Atlas Vol III Chart 1153
Sky Atlas 2000 Chart 8
Uranometria 2000 Vol I Chart 117
Herald-Bobroff Astroatlas B-05 C-21

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