Tuesday, 4 June 2013

NGC 6559—Does this have a nickname?



By Jonathan Powles

I was exploring Sagittarius over the last couple of nights, as you do, and I pointed the scope at what Skytools 3 tells me is a patch of nebulosity NGC 6559, and started to take some photos.

I was totally blown away by what I was seeing: bright and faint emission nebulosity; bright blue and also some yellow reflection nebulosity, wonderfully intricate dark dust lanes ... this little patch of sky has it all.

Anyway, my question is this: does it have a name? A nickname?

It seems extraordinary that little blue and grey smudges get grand labels like "Ghost of Jupiter" and "Black Eye Galaxy" (another one I imaged last night), but that this visual and astrophysical wonderland just gets an NGC number.