Object name: NGC5714

Designation(s): NGC5714, NGC 5717, NGC5722, NGC5723,

I\'ve had FGC 1785 on my to-do list for some time but at a low priority as it has only faint detail. Then I realized the field contained an unnamed (as far as I can find) galaxy group at about a half billion light-years that also contained a flat galaxy of even less detail. Though 4 or 5 of the galaxies in the group are from the NGC catalog, they aren\'t \"winners\" but red elliptical-like galaxies. Well 4 are, the fifth is very odd and discussed below. Two of the 4 may be interacting. The field lies in northern Bootes.

FGC 1785 is also NGC 5714 which was discovered by William Herschel on May 12, 1787 but isn\'t in either Herschel 400 observing list from the Astronomical League nor is it to be found in my visual observations logs. At only 130 million light-years it is much closer than the other galaxies in my image. Still, it is quite large with a diameter of about 125,000 light-years. The other 4 NGC galaxies all lie a half billion light-years distant along with many more much smaller galaxies.

NGC 5717 was discovered by John Herschel on April 26, 1830. NED doesn\'t attempt to classify it but the NGC Project and others say it is a spiral. It is a huge galaxy with a diameter of over 150,000 light-years but very red indicating No significant star formation is going on in it.

NGC 5721 was discovered by R. J. Mitchell an assistant to the Earl of Rosse who likely discovered many galaxies credited to the Earl. He found it on April 16, 1855. It is the smallest of the NGC galaxies in the group with a diameter of only 42,000 light-years. NED doesn\'t classify it though the NGC Project says it is a compact galaxy. These are small but very dense galaxies, perfect for disturbing larger but less dense neighbors.

NGC 5722 is another discovery of John Herschel and was made the same night of April 26, 1830 as 5717. It appears to have large plumes about it. These may be a result of interaction with NGC 5721 but I find nothing in the literature to support this. Like the others, NED doesn\'t classify it though the NGC Project says E-S0 which certainly fits both its red color and visual appearance. I might add pec for the plumes. It\'s bright star ball/disk is about 75,000 light-years across. Adding in the plumes it is much larger. I find it hard to decide where these end. I\'d conservatively say it is at least 160,000 light-years in diameter and argue it is at least 10,000 light-years larger than that.

NGC 5723 was discovered by R. J. Mitchell the same night as 5721. Again NED doesn\'t classify it but the NGC Project says E-S0. I\'d lean toward S0. Its major axis is about 80,000 light-years long.

This brings me to NGC 5724 which is quite a puzzle. NED says it is a star but then lists several catalogs showing it a galaxy. So I checked the NGC Project which says it is a compact galaxy. I looked at the PSF in my image which seems to show it likely a star though it is showing a larger FWHM than other stars in the area. The difference is small enough I\'d normally ignore it. Next, I checked SIMBAD who says it is a galaxy with a diameter of 8\" of arc. That is hardly a star. Then I checked the Sloan image that seems to show a halo about it but a core that is very star-like. The color has a green cast which is very odd for a galaxy but I\'ve seen it with some stars in the survey. Still, that halo would argue for it being a galaxy. With no redshift, it is hard to decide. Dr. Corwin of the NGC Project considers it the faintest identified NGC galaxy. To add to the confusion Seligman says: \"Although NGC 5724 is a star, (per NED) many references mistakenly assign it the characteristics of NGC 5424...\" This actually makes a bit of sense as there may be both a star and galaxy here. One with the NGC number and the other a LEDA number. This conundrum was discovered by R. J. Mitchel on that fateful April 16th night. For now, I\'ll say galaxy rather than star and assume the PSF I\'m seeing is severely damaged by the very bright starlike core around the faint halo seen in the Sloan image. It wouldn\'t take much to change my mind, however. Seligman sides with the star hypothesis. He usually goes with the NGC project\'s Dr. Corwin. Even an amateur level spectroscope should decide this issue. Anyone out there have one?

The annotated image shows many small galaxies also at a half billion light-years scattered rather evenly across the entire field plus the usual assortment of background galaxies. Two of the group members on the left side of my image are interesting. FGC 1790 is another entry from the flat galaxy catalog that\'s about 110,000 across so a rather large spiral. CG 0497 is an apparent spiral that could have made Arp\'s list of peculiar galaxies under his category for spirals with one heavy arm. In fact, the only detail I can see in the disk is that heavy arm seen against an otherwise featureless disk of stars. It likely has more detail but the poor seeing this night is hiding it from me. It is about 70,000 light-years across, a respectably sized spiral.

There\'s an interesting trio of galaxies lies below NGC 5717. One is ASK 402612.0, a wide-open 2 arm, very blue spiral. In a field of mostly red galaxies, it adds a splash of a different color. there are two rather bright red elliptical-like galaxies to its right and fainter ones above and below it. While it is likely the two faint ones are in the background I can\'t be so sure about the two red ones. Without redshift that will remain an unknown, I suppose. Thanks to its drawn-out arms the blue spiral is some 65,000 light-years tip to tip.

I have other questions that can\'t be answered as well. Such as is the little galaxy above NGC 5714 a satellite, or a member of the group at a half billion light-years or a totally unrelated background galaxy? Seems the more I look into an image the more questions I have.

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