NGC 6951 (NGC 6952, UGC 11604) Galaxy in Cepheus

Located at: RA 20 hours 37 minutes 14 seconds, Dec +66 degrees 06 minutes 20 seconds

Size: 3.9' x 3.2' Magnitude: 11.6 blue Class: SAB(rs)bc

North is up

West to the right


 14.5" f5 Newtonian reflector


 ST-8XME, self-guided, binned 1x1, temp -20c, camera control MaxIm DL 4.56


Lumicon Red filter, 690 minutes (69 x 10 minute subs), 06/27/28/29/30/2017; seeing 2.3-3.7 FWHM per CCDStack

Processing: CCDStack 2.94.6355.18107, Photoshop CS5.1

 Rolling Roof Observatory, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 (+34d 13m 29s -118h 52m 20s)

Notes: Imaged after NGC 5885 ... after the moon started to invade the southern skies. This galaxy in Cepheus is embedded in the IFN (Integrated Flux Nebula), or galactic cirrus. A Google search on "NGC 6951" turns up many deeper images that show the nebulosity much better ... one example is from Bob Franke.

From the NGC / IC Project:

Steve's Notes

NGC 6951 = NGC 6952 = UGC 11604 = MCG +11-25-002 = CGCG 325-003 = PGC 65086

20 37 14.2 +66 06 20

V = 10.7;  Size 3.9'x3.2';  Surf Br = 13.3;  PA = 170d

48" (10/23/14): large spiral with a brighter central region extending ~1.8'x1.2' ~E-W and the outer spiral arms increasing the dimensions to 2.8'x2.0', with the arms reaching north and south.  Well concentrated with an intensely bright, circular core that is embedded with a bright, elongated oval "bar" extending E-W.  A fairly narrow spiral arm is attached at the west end of the central region and curves strongly counterclockwise to the north, passing between two mag 15.8 stars 1.3' WNW and 0.8' NW of center.  This fairly low surface brightness arm is widely detached from the glow of the central region as it curls to the east, ending about 1.5' NNE of center.  On the east side of the elongated core region a faint, shorter spiral arm curves south, passing near 3 or 4 faint stars oriented N-S and fades out ~1' SSW of center.

24" (7/23/14): fairly bright, fairly large, slightly elongated, ~2' diameter.  Sharply concentrated with a small, very bright core.  A fairly broad "bar" extends east-west through the central region.  Weak spiral structure is definite with careful viewing.  An eastern arm appears as a subtle arc curving counterclockwise and passing west and then south of a mag 12.7 star 1.4' east of center.  I expected the western arm to be more obvious, but it was only visible as a slightly brighter curving "edge" of the outer halo from west to north.

18" (8/17/04): at 225x appears moderately bright and large, oval 3:2 WNW-ESE, ~1.8'x1.1'.  On the east end is a mag 12.5 star.  The galaxy suddenly brightens to a very small, brighter core.  The edge of the halo fades and increases in size with averted vision.  Appears slightly brighter along the major axis with a hint of structure.

17.5" (10/30/99): observed SN 1999el, which was discovered 11 days ago (Oct 20).  Appeared as a mag 14.5-15 star just following the core (22" E and 8" S) and easily visible at 280x.  The galaxy is fairly faint, moderately large.  Sharply concentrated with a small bright core surrounded by a diffuse halo elongated 3:2 E-W.  A mag 12 star is 1.5' following the center and a mag 15 star is just visible a similar distance WNW.

17.5" (8/13/88): bright with a very bright core surrounded by a fainter large oval halo 3:2 E-W.  A mag 13 star is just off the east edge 1.4' from center and a mag 15 star is off the NW end.

8" (6/22/81): faint, small, bright core.  A mag 13 star is at the east edge.

Lewis Swift found NGC 6951 = Sw II-85 with a 4.5-inch refractor (date unknown).  Using his 16-inch refractor he noted "pB; pL; lE.  Discovered many years ago with 4 1/2 inch".  His position is 13 tsec of RA preceding UGC 11604 = PGC 65086.  Herbert Howe measured an accurate position in 1899-00 with the 20-inch refractor at the Chamberlin Observatory in Denver as well as Kobold at Strasbourg in December 1899.

JÚrome Coggia discovered this galaxy sometime before 1878 at the Marseilles Observatory and it was catalogued as NGC 6952.  Coggia's position was 20' north of UGC 11604, so Dreyer assumed these were different objects.  Denning noted the equivalence NGC 6951 = NGC 6952 in 1892 (The Observatory, 15, 106) and Dreyer repeated it in the IC 1 Notes section.


NGC 6952 = NGC 6951 = UGC 11604 = MCG +11-25-002 = CGCG 325-003 = PGC 65086

20 37 14.2 +66 06 20

See observing notes for NGC 6951.

Jerome Coggia discovered NGC 6952 around 1877 at the Marseilles Observatory, probably using a 7.2-inch refractor. The discovery was apparently communicated directly to Dreyer and first appeared in the GC Supplement. There is nothing at his position, but 20' south is UGC 11604 = PGC 65086 and Coggia's description of a mag 15 close following matches this galaxy.  According to Steinicke, this was Coggia's only NGC discovery.  Lewis Swift independently rediscovered this galaxy on 14 Sep 1885 and placed it accurately in list II-85 (later catalogued as NGC 6951). William Denning noted the equivalence NGC 6951 = NGC 6952 in 1892 (The Observatory, 15, 106) and Dreyer listed the identity in the IC 1 Notes section.