Object name: HCG061

Designation(s): HCG061, NGC4169, NGC4173, NGC4174, NGC4175,

The HCG 61 galaxy group is one of Hickson\'s most photogenic being composed of four bright, NGC galaxies arranged in a rectangle. This has given it its common name of \"The Box\". It is composed of NGC 4169, NGC 4173, NGC 4174 and NGC 4175. All but NGC 4173 are located about 200 million light-years from us. NGC 4173 is located only about 65 million light-years away by redshift though there\'s a good agreement that its non-redshift distance is only 30 million light-years. The group is located in northwestern Coma Berenices.

I measure NGC 4169 with a diameter of 135,000 light-years making it the largest of the group. NGC 4174 is the smallest at only 53,000 light-years while I measure NGC 4175 at 110,000 light-years. While appearing much larger, NGC 4173 is also much closer. I measure it, including the long arm to the southeast as being 84,000 or 39,000 light-years in size. If the closer distance is right it is the smallest of the four. At the time of Hickson\'s catalog distances to most of his galaxies was unknown. He was working on appearance, well aware that this isn\'t going to always equate to distance. Hence his name for them of Compact Groups. He didn\'t mean they really were compact, only that they appeared that way from our vantage point. Also, if you look around the annotated image you will find a few other galaxies also with a redshift of about 200 million light-years that are likely true members of the group but don\'t meet Hickson\'s requirements so aren\'t included in the group. What I do find odd is that when I ask NED for HCG 61 it says it has 3 galaxies, not four but then when asked individually about the four gives them the HCG letters A through D I show in the annotated image. I\'ve found this count difference many times in NED. I suppose I should ask them about it but so far haven\'t done so.

This image had something go wrong. I still have no idea what but the left side of the image is way out of focus. If this were due to camera tilt (which has happened to me) the stars would elongate but these turned into donuts with a bit of distortion due to being at the edge of the field. All subs showed the same error. It was taken the same night as NGC 2742 and NGC 3686. It was taken between these two yet neither show this problem. I\'ve not looked at all taken since but none I have looked at show this issue. I\'m stumped as to what could cause it. Since that put the Abell 1495 galaxy cluster well out of focus I have this one on the reshoot list.

Just off the southwest end of NGC 4174 is ASK 574454.0 which NED lists as a candidate dwarf but if its redshift distance of 1.08 billion light-years is correct I measure it as being the same size as NGC 4174 which is a normal sized S0 galaxy. I suspect it got the possible dwarf label before its distance was known. But why that hangs on I find interesting, inertia?

There\'s a pair of interacting galaxies near the bottom center of the image, KISSBx 37. I couldn\'t find them listed separately. NED normally labels distance data as p for photographic, Spec as proven spectroscopic measurements. If likely spectroscopic but not proven it leaves that blank. For this one, however, they use the label ? which I\'ve never seen before. I don\'t know what they mean by it but included it in the annotation. I can\'t prove these two are interacting but they sure appear to be interacting.

14\" LX200R @ f/10, L=4x10\' RGB=2x10, STL-11000XM, Paramount ME