Paul; AJ said, about NGC 4656, "the center is not in the middle!". True, the core seems to be off to one side. A strange shape indeed. And 4631 is truly massive and very mottled. Lots of fun. Steve Coe > Although the Moon set late and the clouds came in at 2 am, I and the > coyotes had a few great hours to experience the universe from one of the > world?s dwindling dark sky sites at Hovatter Norte last Saturday night. > There are always a few views through the 25" that specially jolt me and > stick in my mind for days afterward. The latest are: 1) NGC 3395/96: > the curved wings on 3395 stunned me when I saw and felt the gravitational > wrenching going on during this interaction. I've seen lots of other > interacting galaxies visually but none that impart such a visceral > realization of gravity at work on a cosmic scale! Don't know what's so > special about this pair, but I'm still thinking about and feeling that > view two nights later. 2)NGC 4656: A half of a galaxy! There is the bright > core at one end (!) and an arm streaming out and curving sharply at the > tip. A litle averted vision and the vastly fainter arm on the other side > comes into view, but without any curved tip. Not really a "half galaxy", > after all. The strange appearance of this one is gravity again, they > say--the effect of nearby NGC 4631. OK, let's look at that one: 3) Gasp! > An enormous edge-on rich in glowing detail. Goes wall to > wall in a 13mm Ethos. Could stare transfixed at this all night. Forget > photos, you can see and feel this one blazing away. Amazing. The > wrenching of 3395 makes visible sense you can feel. But how this big > galaxy induced 4656 to look the way it does probably requires the usual > not-so-apparent and probably speculative astrophysics. I surmise a big > wave of star formation was somehow triggered in that "half a galaxy" by > the tug of this wall to wall wonder? How, I puzzle, does that work in > this case? All these things rummaging around in my mind tonight when I > should be working on other things. Ah, well, screw the other things; > those views were a treasure! > > Videmus stellae, > > Paul Knauth > > > -- > See message header for info on list archives or unsubscribing, and please > send personal replies to the author, not the list. > > > -- See message header for info on list archives or unsubscribing, and please send personal replies to the author, not the list.