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Contains:  NGC 5354, NGC 5353, NGC 5350
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Hickson Compact Group 68 and Supernova SN2019ein, 


            Robert Churan
Hickson Compact Group 68 and Supernova SN2019ein

Hickson Compact Group 68 and Supernova SN2019ein

Technical card

Resolution: 5000x3201

ZWO Blue 1.25": 36x256"
ZWO Green 1.25": 40x256"
ZWO Luminance 1.25": 119x256"
ZWO Red 1.25": 40x256"

Integration: 16.7 hours

Darks: ~50

Flats: ~50

Bias: ~50 job: 2695883

RA center: 208.351 degrees

DEC center: 40.303 degrees

Pixel scale: 0.380 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 1.047 degrees

Field radius: 0.313 degrees

Data source: Backyard


HCG 68 is the 68th member of Paul Hickson's catalogue of 100 compact groups of galaxies located 100 million light years distant in the constellation of Canes Venatici. The group is usually listed as consisting of five NGC galaxies: 5353, 5354, 5350, 5358, and 5355.

Though not visibly in frame, NGC 5371 is a large spiral that appears to be at the same distance and gravitationally associated with HCG 68. Together, 68 and 5371 make what is called the Big Lick Group, named after a salt pan in Roanoke, Virginia.

To the top of the group lies Type A Seyfert barred-spiral galaxy NGC 5350. It contains a highly active galactic nucleus. In the center frame are elliptical NGC 5353 and lenticular NGC 5354. They are only 9 kpc separated, and appear to be merging. To the left of these lie fainter NGC 5358 and 5355.

NGC 5354 is home to today's highlight: SN2019ein. What appears as a bright, predominantly blue star down and to the left of this galaxy is actually a supernove explosion. It was a magnitude 13.2 stellar explosion of Type Ia, making it what astronomers call a "standard candle." This is because Type Ia supernovae have light curves which can be matched to standard candle values via one parameter.

This image was fun to capture. I gained a new favorite DSO, and by chance imaged my first supernova. This group is highly underrepresented in the works of amateurs and professionals alike, and I feel the astronomy community should do right by Paul Hickson and make his catalogue more known, especially for beautiful groupings like HCG 68.



Robert Churan
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


Hickson Compact Group 68 and Supernova SN2019ein, 


            Robert Churan