View Full Version : The Fath

2011-Dec-14, 02:27 AM
"The Fath is a small cluster of galaxies, near the center of the larger cluster Abell 262. Located in Andromeda, it is at a distance of about 210 million light-years and includes many NGC galaxies, see my annotated image. The elliptical galaxy, NGC 708, anchors the cluster. I found this explanation for why it is named The Fath.

"The Fath is named after astronomer Edward Arthur Fath, 1880-1959. There does not seem be any historical connection between Dr. Fath and the cluster. This suggests that it is named as such, simply because the cluster looks like the letter 'F'." I asked Dr. Pete Schultz (he punched holes in a comet and the moon), who did his under grad work at Carlton College where Dr. Fath did much of his later work, what he knew about the group being named for him. While Fath was something of a legend at the college this was the first he'd heard of the cluster being named for him. So far he's turned up nothing. If he finds anything I'll update this.

"Dr. Fath did groundbreaking research that led to determining that spiral nebulae are actually distant galaxies." http://bf-astro.com/fath.htm

NGC 708 is the cD elliptical galaxy that anchors the Abell cluster. The cluster, in turn, is part of the Pisces-Perseus supercluster. Many papers speak of it having a dust lane across the nucleus at right angles to the radio axis of the galaxy. I don't see the dust lane in my image. It is likely too narrow for my resolution.

The annotated image notes the catalog name for apparent cluster members. I considered any with a red shift of 150 to 270 million light-years to be a member with the difference due to orbital velocities. Those outside this range are noted only by their redshift distance.

NED has an apparent error involving NGC 704A They point to a galaxy far too faint. Below NGC 704B is a galaxy not in NED that apparently is the real NGC 704A. NED puts the position of the double galaxy NGC 704 as half way between NGC 704B and the unidentified one below it. Adding to the confusion the NGC project points to the lower galaxy to be NGC 704 making no mention of the upper galaxy yet in the text calls it the second brightest of the group. That might apply to the upper galaxy but not the lower. Also they call it round while the brighter NGC 704B is oval. Simbad on the other hand says the southern one is NGC 704B with the upper being NGC 704 and NGC 704A. My head is spinning.

VI Zw 088 and VI Zw 095 are described in notes as "neutral fuzzy spherical compact" galaxies.
PGC 006974 seems to have some tidal sprays off the east and west sides.
IC 1737 appears to be just a double star. The position given is between two blue stars.
UGC 01319 has star clouds in its arms that are brighter than its core. Weird.

14" LX200R @ f/10, L=4X10' RGB=2X10', STL-11000XM, Paramount ME


2011-Dec-15, 12:33 AM
That is an amazing photograph! Thanks for sharing.