Observing the
Hickson Compact Galaxy Groups


Compact Galaxy Groups have always been of interest to astronomers ever since Stephan discoverd his famous Stephan's Quintet in 1877. The Hickson Compact Galaxy Groups were compiled by Paul Hickson and published in his Atlas of Compact Groups of Galaxies in 1994. Rather unbelievably there are exactly 100 entries although they were selected to strict rules so it must be a coincidence.

They represent the brightest groups visible to northern observers and this of course makes them ideal targets for amateur astronomers. However, many of the objects are small, lending themeselves to the longer focal length telescopes. Certainly they are not for the wide field guys.

The List of all 100 Groups - includes links to images where I've taken them.

All-sky Chart of the Groups Everyone is familiar with the Messier Chart with all galaxies shawn at once. This is the equivalent for the Hickson galaxies. It was produced using the XEphem software. You might need to click on the chart to bring it up full size.

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