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Final drawing:

NGC 6217

NGC 6217

Drawing data

NGC 6217 UMi GX
Date(s) of observation:
2015.06.12/13. Ágasvár
Place(s) of observation:
Telescope(s) used:
16" f/4.4 Newtonian (MCSE Dobson)
Enlargement(s) used:
220x-294x (8 mm, 6 mm Planetary)
Author / Observer:
Peter Kiss


NGC 6217 dawing inverted into positive.
NGC 6217 dawing inverted into positive.

NGC 6217 is a relatively bright (11.0m) and relatively big galaxy in Ursa Minor. The bright inner part of the galaxy that can be seen in my drawing is about 2' (arcminutes) in size.

The spectacular feature of the galaxy is its Y-shaped bar which was partially visible in the telescope as well. The lower stem of the "letter Y" is the Northern section of the bar (top left). One branch of the Y is the Southern section of the bar (bottom right). And the other branch of the Y is a spiral arm starting from the core. I could clearly see only one branch: the straight thread running through the bar. The edge of the other branch was visible as a straight line with a lot of contrast. But I could not see that inner spiral arm. The arms starting at the ends of the bar were sort-of visible especially the Northern arm.

NGC 6217 is included in Halton Arp's famous atlas as Arp 185. Not because of the unique internal structure described above but because of the extremely faint and narrow outer spiral arms ("narrow filaments"). These arms triple the size of the galaxy in deep images.

Comparison with the photograph

NGC 6217 (Arp 185) drawing using a 16" Newtonian telescope.
NGC 6217 (Arp 185) drawing using a 16" Newtonian telescope. Peter Kiss
Hubble image of NGC 6217.
Hubble image of NGC 6217.. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team. Acknowledgements: Observers: M. Sirianni (STScI/ESA), M. Chiaberge (STScI/ESA/INAF), A. Suchkov (Johns Hopkins University), and N. Grogin (STScI), Data Analysis: M. Mutchler (STScI), Image Composition: Z. Levay and L. Frattare (STScI), Science Consultant: K. Noll (STScI). Source:

You can see the Hubble image of  NGC 6217 to the left. I rotated and cropped my inverted drawing to show about the same area of the sky.

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