This guy shares the same neck of the celestial woods with the Cat's Eye Nebula, NGC 6543. NGC 6552 resides just 9'.4 due east of the well known planetary nebula but is, itself, relatively unknown. This isn't surprising considering this barred spiral galaxy has a blue magnitude of 14.6 and is only 1'x0'.7 in size. NGC 6552 has become an object I use to check transparency during the spring and summer. If it's not visible in my 10-inch Newt, then I know the atmospheric clarity is lacking. At Antelope Park this weekend, I was able to see this galaxy in the same field as the Cat's Eye. When visible in my 10-inch, NGC 6552 is pretty subtle as you can see in this sketch: http://members.aol.com/billferris/n6552.html Does anybody else use this object as a test of sky conditions? What's the smallest aperture you've used to make the observation? Regards, Bill Ferris "Cosmic Voyage: The Online Resource for Amateur Astronomers" URL: http://www.cosmic-voyage.net -- See message header for info on list archives or unsubscribing, and please send personal replies to the author, not the list.