Abell 262 in Andromeda

Observing Notes

Abell 262 is somewhat unusual in that most of the bright galaxies are spirals rather than ellipticals or SO’s. Although the core of the galaxy cluster includes a rich concentration of nine NGC galaxies, the cluster has been classified as irregular--clumpy but not dominated by any bright galaxies and only mildly concentrated toward the center. Over 100 galaxies within Abell 262 (down to magnitude 15.7 photographic) are catalogued in the Catalog of Galaxies and Clusters of Galaxies (CGCG); this provided my starting point. In addition, many of the spirals (those with major diameters of at least one arcminute) are catalogued in the Uppsala General Catalog of Galaxies (UGC), which provides magnitudes, diameters, position angles, galaxy types and additional notes of interest.

William Herschel was the first visual observer of Abell 262 and discovered four of the brightest galaxies in the central region. His son John reobserved the cluster and added NGC 712 to the north. Lord Rosse and his assistants observed the cluster on nine different occasions and discovered (or co-discovered along with D’Arrest) four more NGC galaxies.--Steve Gottlieb