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(The Ram)
 
 
  One of the zodiacal constellations, Aries is a bright and easy to find autumn constellation. It contains many meteor showers such as the Delta Arietids and the Aries-Triangulids. There are few objects of interest but there are some double stars and faint galaxies.
           
 
           
  Spiral galaxy NGC 772   NGC 772:
This is a spiral galaxy that is being deformed by the gravity of it's elliptical companion NGC 770. The nucleus is Seyfert type and there is a large amount of ongoing star formation. This galaxy is classed as a peculiar galaxy because one spiral arm is stretched out from the main structure. It is also catalogued in the Arp Atlas of Peculiar galaxies as Arp 78.
The spiral galaxy NGC 772 with its elliptical companion NGC 770 below.
Image copyright A. Pisani
 
vdB16:
 

A small reflection nebula that surrounds a magnitude 9 star. It is in the upper left part of Aries away from the brightest galaxies.

vdB stands for 'van Den Bergh' and is a colourful catalogue of reflection nebulae, examples include vdB93 in Monoceros and vdB14-15 in Camelopardalis. The catalogue of 158 nebulae was compiled by Sidney van den Bergh in 1966. The most famous nebula in this catalogue is vdB142, mistakenly applied to the Elephant Trunk Nebula but in fact is a tiny insignificant nebula. Recently in 2008, Sidney was awarded with the honour of being a Bruce Medallist. This is an award issued by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

                   
  NGC 877:
 

An incredibly small galaxy, this magnitude 13 obscurity lies at an unfathomable distance of 150 million light years along with NGC 876, a magnitude 15 edge on galaxy. It is likely that both galaxies are involved in the cosmic tango known as a gravitational interaction. The spiral arm of NGC 877 that faces the edge on galaxy is more distorted than the southern spiral arm.

Suffice to say that telescopes so large that they require a ladder to reach the eyepiece are needed to see any detail in both spiral arms and the core. A more favourable option is to just borrow somebody's huge telescope at a star party.

Star parties are held by astronomy clubs in every country. They are great for familiarising yourself with using telescopes prior to purchasing one yourself. They are a brilliant opportunity to meet other astronomers, maybe someone famous if you get lucky!
Proud owners of very large telescopes like to showcase them at these events
as they are a good opportunity to observe under dark skies as well as showing
other observers, the deep sky wonders that they might have missed.

                   
   
   
Ara
          Auriga