|Right Ascension||12 : 44.0 (h:m)
|Declination||+32 : 10 (deg:m)
|Visual Brightness||10.4 (mag)
|Apparent Dimension||13.8 x 3.3 (arc min)|
Discovered by William Herschel in 1787.
NGC 4656 is a large spiral galaxy, which is significantly distorted by the interaction with its large neighbor NGC 4631. Rich field telescopes and large binoculars show both galaxies in the same field. The bright knot on the East of this galaxy has been assigned the separate NGC number NGC 4657 (as William Herschel had cataloged it separately as H I.177); some sources say this is a companion to the galaxy. Beyond the knot, this galaxy "curves up" as a result of distortion. A bridge of hydrogene gas is connecting both galaxies.
Our image was obtained by Michael Purcell, taken with a Meade 10" f/6.3 SC telescope and ST-7 CCD camera, exposed 15 minutes, on April 25, 1997 at 22:37:41.
In the SAC 110 best NGC object list. No. 65 in the RASC Finest NGC Objects list.
Last Modification: 22 Mar 1998, 21:10 MET