Celestial Atlas
(NGC 2550 - 2599) ←     NGC Objects: NGC 2600 - 2649 Link for sharing this page on Facebook     → (NGC 2650 - 2699)
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2600, 2601, 2602, 2603, 2604, 2605, 2606, 2607, 2608, 2609, 2610, 2611, 2612, 2613, 2614, 2615, 2616,
2617, 2618, 2619, 2620, 2621, 2622, 2623, 2624, 2625, 2626, 2627, 2628, 2629, 2630, 2631, 2632, 2633,
2634, 2635, 2636, 2637, 2638, 2639, 2640, 2641, 2642, 2643, 2644, 2645, 2646, 2647, 2648, 2649

Last updated May 1, 2017
WORKING 2626: Adding basic pix, tags

NGC 2600 (= PGC 24082)
Discovered (Mar 7, 1886) by
Guillaume Bigourdan (I-37)
A 14th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type Sb?) in Ursa Major (RA 08 34 44.8, Dec +52 42 55)
Apparent size 1.2 by 0.4 arcmin.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2600
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2600
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2600

NGC 2601 (= PGC 23637)
Discovered (Mar 4, 1835) by
John Herschel
A 13th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type SBa?) in Volans (RA 08 25 30.4, Dec -68 07 04)
Apparent size 1.6 by 1.1 arcmin.
DSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2601
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2601
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
DSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2601

NGC 2602 (= PGC 24099)
Discovered (Feb 16, 1831) by
John Herschel
A 15th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type S?) in Ursa Major (RA 08 35 04.3, Dec +52 49 53)
Apparent size 0.6 by 0.3 arcmin. (The size is incorrectly listed in almost every catalog; the values here are from a direct measurement of the images below.)
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2602
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2602
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy; also shown are NGC 2603, 2605 and 2606
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2602, also showing compact galaxy NGC 2603, lenticular galaxy NGC 2605 and spiral galaxy NGC 2606

NGC 2603 (= PGC 3133653)
Discovered (Feb 9, 1850) by
George Stoney
A 16th-magnitude compact galaxy (type C?) in Ursa Major (RA 08 34 31.2, Dec +52 50 25)
Apparent size 0.3 by 0.3 arcmin. Note: A Wikisky search for NGC 2603 incorrectly shows NGC 2606 (which is incorrectly labeled as NGC 2603), so use its coordinates to view it. (This is apparently due to PGC 24117 being incorrectly listed as both NGC 2603 and 2606 in some catalogs.)
SDSS image of compact galaxy NGC 2603
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2603
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy; also shown are NGC 2602 and 2605
SDSS image of region near compact galaxy NGC 2603, also showing lenticular galaxy NGC 2605 and spiral galaxy NGC 2602

NGC 2604 (= PGC 23998)
Discovered (Mar 12, 1785) by
William Herschel
A 13th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type SBc?) in Cancer (RA 08 33 22.9, Dec +29 32 19)
Apparent size 1.7 by 1.7 arcmin.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2604
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2604
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy; also shown is "NGC 2604B"
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2604, also showing PGC 24004, which is sometimes called NGC 2604B

PGC 24004 (= "NGC 2604B")
Not an NGC object but sometimes called NGC 2604B because of its proximity to
NGC 2604
A 15th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type Sc? pec) in Cancer (RA 08 33 35.7, Dec +29 29 58)
Apparent size 0.9 by 0.6 arcmin.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy PGC 24004, sometimes called NGC 2604B
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of PGC 24004
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy; also shown is NGC 2604
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy PGC 24004, sometimes called NGC 2604B; also shown is spiral galaxy NGC 2604

NGC 2605 (= PGC 2424112)
Discovered (Mar 11, 1858) by
R. J. Mitchell
A 16th-magnitude lenticular galaxy (type S0?) in Ursa Major (RA 08 34 53.3, Dec +52 48 16)
Apparent size 0.4 by 0.3 arcmin. Note: A Wikisky search for NGC 2605 shows the correct object, but does not indicate its NGC identity.
SDSS image of lenticular galaxy NGC 2605
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2605; for a wide-field view, see NGC 2602

NGC 2606 (= PGC 24117)
Discovered (Feb 16, 1831) by
John Herschel
A 14th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type Sbc?) in Ursa Major (RA 08 35 34.4, Dec +52 47 19)
Apparent size 0.7 by 0.3 arcmin. Note: A Wikisky search for NGC 2606 shows the correct galaxy, but labels it as NGC 2603. This is apparently due to PGC 24117 being incorrectly listed as both NGC 2603 and 2606 in some catalogs.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2606
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2606
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy; also shown is NGC 2602
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2606, also showing spiral galaxy NGC 2602

NGC 2607 (= PGC 24038)
Discovered (Dec 24, 1827) by
John Herschel
A 14th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type Scd?) in Cancer (RA 08 33 56.6, Dec +26 58 23)
Based on a recessional velocity of 3530 km/sec, NGC 2607 is about 165 million light years away. Given that and its apparent size of 0.95 by 0.85 arcmin, it is about 45 thousand light years across.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2607
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2607
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2607

NGC 2608 (= PGC 24111 =
Arp 12)
Discovered (Mar 12, 1785) by William Herschel
A 12th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type SB(s)b) in Cancer (RA 08 35 17.2, Dec +28 28 24)
Based on a recessional velocity of 2135 km/sec, NGC 2608 is about 100 million light years away, in good agreement with redshift-independent distance estimates of 70 to 100 million light years. Given that and its apparent size of 2.3 by 1.4 arcmin, it is about 65 thousand light years across.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2608, also known as Arp 12
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2608
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2608, also known as Arp 12

NGC 2609
Discovered (Mar 8, 1836) by
John Herschel
An open cluster in Carina (RA 08 29 30.0, Dec -61 06 36)
Per Dreyer, NGC 2609 (= John Herschel's GC 1671, 1860 RA 08 26 49, NPD 150 38.5) is a "cluster, pretty small, slightly rich, slightly compressed". Of two observations by Herschel, the more detailed says "a double star, chief of a cluster 8th class of scattered stars, 6 arcmin diameter, not very rich or compressed". The position precesses to RA 08 29 31.2, Dec -61 06 41, within 0.4 arcmin of the double star in question, so the identity is certain. Despite this, some catalogs incorrectly list the object as "Not Found" or "nonexistent"; perhaps for that reason, a Wikisky search for NGC 2609 shows the correct region, but does not indicate that it is an NGC object.
DSS image of open cluster NGC 2609
Above, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on NGC 2609

NGC 2610
Discovered (Dec 31, 1785) by
William Herschel
A 13th-magnitude planetary nebula in Hydra (RA 08 33 23.4, Dec -16 08 55)
Apparent size 0.70 arcmin. The second IC says "Howe is wrong in placing this 1 degree north (wrong star). d'Arrest and Schonfeld agree with h." (that is, with John Herschel's GC entry). (Note: Wikisky multicolor DSS images of NGC 2610 grossly overexpose the nebula; so a monochrome DSS image has been overlaid on the Wikisky images to produce the views below.)
DSS image of planetary nebula NGC 2610
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2610
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the planetary nebula
DSS image of region near planetary nebula NGC 2610

NGC 2611 (= PGC 24121)
Discovered (Mar 29, 1865) by
Albert Marth (124)
A 14th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type S?) in Cancer (RA 08 35 29.1, Dec +25 01 40)
Apparent size 0.7 by 0.2 arcmin.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2611
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2611
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2611

NGC 2612 (= PGC 24028)
Discovered (Feb 14, 1836) by
John Herschel
A 13th-magnitude lenticular galaxy (type E/S0?) in Hydra (RA 08 33 50.1, Dec -13 10 27)
Apparent size 2.8 by 0.6 arcmin. The second IC says (per Howe) "not bright but faint".
DSS image of lenticular galaxy NGC 2612
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2612
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
DSS image of region near lenticular galaxy NGC 2612

NGC 2613 (= PGC 23997)
Discovered (Nov 20, 1784) by
William Herschel
A 10th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type Sb?) in Pyxis (RA 08 33 22.8, Dec -22 58 22)
Apparent size 6.5 by 1.4 arcmin.
ESO image of spiral galaxy NGC 2613
Above, an approximately 8 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2613 (Image Credits: ESO)
Below, a 12 arcmin wide composite image centered on the galaxy
Composite of ESO and DSS images of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2613

NGC 2614 (= PGC 24473)
Discovered (Dec 1, 1863) by
Heinrich d'Arrest
A 13th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type Sc?) in Ursa Major (RA 08 42 47.6, Dec +72 58 36)
Apparent size 2.0 by 1.6 arcmin.
DSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2614
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2614
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
DSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2614

NGC 2615 (= PGC 24071)
Discovered (Feb 6, 1885) by
Édouard Stephan (13-39)
A 13th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type SBb?) in Hydra (RA 08 34 33.1, Dec -02 32 50)
Apparent size 1.9 by 1.1 arcmin.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2615
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2615
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2615

NGC 2616 (= PGC 24129)
Discovered (Mar 9, 1886) by
Lewis Swift (3-39)
A 13th-magnitude lenticular galaxy (type S0?) in Hydra (RA 08 35 34.0, Dec -01 51 03)
Apparent size 1.1 by 0.9 arcmin.
SDSS image of lenticular galaxy NGC 2616
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2616
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy, also showing IC 515 and 516
SDSS image of region near lenticular galaxy NGC 2616, also showing lenticular galaxies IC 515 and 516

NGC 2617 (= PGC 24141)
Discovered (Feb 12, 1885) by
Édouard Stephan (13-40)
A 14th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type Sc) in Hydra (RA 08 35 38.9, Dec -04 05 16)
(Note: A number of databases incorrectly list PGC 24136, a galaxy to the east of NGC 2617, as the NGC object; even Steinicke's database, although giving the correct position, has the incorrect identification and corresponding physical data. However, as will be made clear in the next iteration of this page, there is no doubt that PGC 24141 is the correct object, and its physical data are used here.) Based on a recessional velocity of 4260 km/sec, NGC 2617 is about 200 million light years away. Given that and its apparent size of 1.1 by 1.1 arcmin, it is about 65 thousand light years across. (Note: Almost all databases, even those that have the correct identification as PGC 24141, list the apparent size of PGC 24136 in its place; the size given here is based on the images below.) NGC 2617 is a Seyfert galaxy (type Sy 1.8). Given their apparent proximity and similar recessional velocities, it is possible that NGC 2617 and PGC 24136 are companions.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2617
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2617
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy and to its east, PGC 24136
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2617, also showing spiral galaxy PGC 24136, which is often misidentified as NGC 2617

PGC 24136 (not = NGC 2617)
Not an NGC object but listed here because sometimes misidentified as
NGC 2617
A 14th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type SB?) in Hydra (RA 08 35 48.5, Dec -04 05 34)
As noted at NGC 2617, PGC 24136 is incorrectly listed as NGC 2617 in Steinicke's database. That is certainly an inadvertent error, as (will be discussed in detail in the next iteration of this page) there is no doubt that PGC 24141 is the correct NGC 2617. However, the error exists in a number of databases (for instance the Wikisky database, which shows NGC 2617 as PGC 24141, and PGC 24136 as NGC 2617), so it is appropriate to discuss the characteristics of the galaxy, even though it isn't an actual NGC object. Based on a recessional velocity of 4405 km/sec, PGC 24136 is about 200 million light years away. Given that and its 1.1 by 0.8 arcmin apparent size, it is about 65 thousand light years across. (Note: The galaxy is listed as a lenticular galaxy (type S0/a or SB0/a) in a number of databases, but as the image below shows, it is probably a spiral; hence its listing as such above.)
SDSS image of spiral galaxy PGC 24136, often incorrectly listed as NGC 2617
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of PGC 24136; for now, see NGC 2617 for a wider view

NGC 2618 (= PGC 24156)
Discovered (Dec 20, 1784) by
William Herschel
A 12th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type Sab?) in Hydra (RA 08 35 53.5, Dec +00 42 28)
The first IC lists a corrected RA (per Bigourdan) of 08 29 01. Apparent size 2.5 by 2.0 arcmin.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2618
Above, a 3 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2618
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2618

NGC 2619 (= PGC 24235)
Discovered (Mar 12, 1785) by
William Herschel
A 12th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type SBbc?) in Cancer (RA 08 37 32.6, Dec +28 42 18)
Apparent size 1.8 by 1.1 arcmin.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2619
Above, a 3 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2619
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2619

NGC 2620 (= PGC 24233)
Discovered (May 5, 1863) by
William Lassell (125)
A 14th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type S?) in Cancer (RA 08 37 28.3, Dec +24 56 49)
Apparent size 2.0 by 0.5 arcmin.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2620
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2620
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy; also shown is NGC 2621
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2620, also showing spiral galaxy NGC 2621

NGC 2621 (= PGC 24241)
Discovered (Mar 29, 1865) by
Albert Marth (126)
A 15th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type S?) in Cancer (RA 08 37 36.9, Dec +25 00 01)
Apparent size 0.8 by 0.4 arcmin.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2621
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2621
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy; also shown is NGC 2620
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2621, also showing spiral galaxy NGC 2620

NGC 2622 (= PGC 24269)
Discovered (Mar 29, 1865) by
Albert Marth (127)
A 14th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type SBb pec) in Cancer (RA 08 38 10.9, Dec +24 53 43)
Based on a recessional velocity of 8580 km/sec, NGC 2622 is about 400 million light years away. Given that and its apparent size of 0.95 by 0.65 arcmin, it is about 110 thousand light years across. The galaxy is notable for its gravitational interaction with the nearby galaxy PGC 24266. Both galaxies have extended arms of gas, stars and clusters of stars strewn into space by their interaction. One result of their interaction is a starburst in the core of NGC 2622, causing it to be classified as a Seyfert galaxy (type Sy 1.8). The other galaxies in the field of view do not appear to be taking part in the gravitational interactions, and are probably foreground or background objects; but by and large, nothing is known about them anyway.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2622 and its peculiar companion, PGC 24266
Above, a 3 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2622; PGC 24266 is among other galaxies shown
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on NGC 2622
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2622 and its peculiar companion, PGC 24266

PGC 24266
Listed here because of its gravitational interaction with
NGC 2622
A 15th-magnitude peculiar galaxy (type ? pec) in Cancer (RA 08 38 07.1, Dec +24 53 05)
Based on a recessional velocity of 8470 km/sec, PGC 24266 is about 395 million light years away, but whatever its actual distance, it must be the same as for NGC 2622 (which see for images), based on its obvious gravitational interaction with the larger galaxy. The two galaxies are probably within a few hundred thousand light years of each other, and may be less than 200 thousand light years apart. Given its probable distance and its apparent size of 0.4 by 0.3 arcmin, PGC 24266 is about 45 thousand light years across, but that does not take into account the long tail of gas and stars streaming away to its southwest.

NGC 2623 (= PGC 24288 =
Arp 243)
Discovered (Jan 19, 1885) by Édouard Stephan (13-41)
A 13th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type Sb pec) in Cancer (RA 08 38 24.1, Dec +25 45 17)
Two galaxies must have recently collided and merged to form this galaxy, which is in the late stages of its merger, having developed a nearly common (though very distorted and spectacularly bright) core, but still showing the aftereffects of its merger in two spectacularly long arms of stars, star clusters and gases thrown out into intergalactic space and now filled with hot, bright young clusters of stars that heat and light up the gases surrounding them. Based on its recessional velocity of 5550 km/sec, NGC 2623 is about 260 million light years away, in reasonable agreement with redshift-independent distance estimates of 250 to 350 million light years. Given that and its apparent size of 2.4 by 0.7 arcmin, it is about 180 thousand light years across. The core of the galaxy, filled with exceptionally large numbers of bright young stars, causes it to be classified as a Seyfert galaxy (type Sy 2).
HST image of peculiar spiral galaxy NGC 2623, also known as Arp 243
Above, a HST view of the galaxy (with North on the left, to show as much detail as possible)
(Image Credits above and below: ESA and A. Evans (Stony Brook) et al., NASA)
Below, a closeup of the core of the galaxy, from the same image, rotated so North is more nearly at the top
HST image of the core of peculiar spiral galaxy NGC 2623, also known as Arp 243
Below, a false-color HST image highlights dusty (red) and star-forming (blue) regions
(Image Credits: Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing - Martin Pugh) (orientation the same as top image)
False-color HST image of peculiar spiral galaxy NGC 2623, also known as Arp 243
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy, with North at the top
SDSS image of region near peculiar spiral galaxy NGC 2623, also known as Arp 243

NGC 2624 (= PGC 24264)
Discovered (Oct 30, 1864) by
Albert Marth (128)
A 14th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type S?) in Cancer (RA 08 38 09.6, Dec +19 43 34)
Apparent size 0.6 by 0.5 arcmin. (Note: Within the western boundary of open cluster M44, but a completely insignificant and unnoticeable speck in images showing the cluster as a whole, and of course as a distant galaxy, completely unrelated to the cluster, save for being in approximately the same direction.)
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2624
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2624
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy; also shown is NGC 2625
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2624, also showing spiral galaxy NGC 2625

NGC 2625 (= PGC 24285)
Discovered (Oct 30, 1864) by
Albert Marth (129)
A 14th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type S?) in Cancer (RA 08 38 23.1, Dec +19 42 58)
Apparent size 0.7 by 0.6 arcmin. Listed as an elliptical galaxy by Steinicke, but as shown by the images below, actually a spiral galaxy. (Note: Within the western boundary of open cluster M44, but a completely insignificant and unnoticeable speck in images showing the cluster as a whole, and of course as a distant galaxy, completely unrelated to the cluster, save for being in approximately the same direction.)
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2625
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2625
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy; also shown is NGC 2624
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2625, also showing spiral galaxy NGC 2624

NGC 2626
Discovered (Jan 2, 1835) by
John Herschel
An emission and reflection nebula in Vela (RA 08 35 31.0, Dec -40 40 20)
Apparent size 5.0 by 5.0 arcmin

NGC 2627 (= OCL 714)
Discovered (Mar 3, 1793) by
William Herschel
An 8th-magnitude open cluster (type III2m) in Pyxis (RA 08 37 15.0, Dec -29 57 18)
Apparent size 9.0 arcmin

NGC 2628 (= PGC 24381)
Discovered (Nov 16, 1784) by
William Herschel
A 13th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type Sc?) in Cancer (RA 08 40 22.6, Dec +23 32 23)
Apparent size 1.1 by 1.1 arcmin

NGC 2629 (= PGC 24682)
Discovered (Sep 30, 1802) by
William Herschel
A 12th-magnitude lenticular galaxy (type E/S0?) in Ursa Major (RA 08 47 15.2, Dec +72 59 08)
Apparent size 1.5 by 1.3 arcmin

NGC 2630 (=
NGC 2634 ??)
Recorded (July 1883) by Wilhelm Tempel (IX)
A lost or misidentified object in Ursa Major (RA 08 47 07.2, Dec +73 00 00)
Per Dreyer, NGC 2630 and 2631 (both = Tempel list IX, 1860 RA 08 32, NPD approximately 16 30) are "2 very faint, very small, very near III 982", the latter object being NGC 2629. Dreyer's 1860 positions are 1.5 arcmin due south of NGC 2629, but there is nothing located there or at the corresponding precessed position of RA 08 47 07.2, Dec +73 00 00 (whence the position listed above), so the two entries are listed as nonexistent or lost. However, per Corwin, Temple stated that the two galaxies were brighter than the comparison galaxy, so they presumably do exist, and their positions are simply wrong. He suggests that Temple may have mistaken NGC 2633 for NGC 2629, in which case NGC 2630 and 2631 might be NGC 2634 and PGC 24760 (or "NGC 2634A"); but even if that should prove correct, this entry will contain only historical information.

NGC 2631 (=
PGC 24760 ??)
Recorded (July 1883) by Wilhelm Tempel (IX)
A lost or misidentified object in Ursa Major (RA 08 47 07.2, Dec +73 00 00)
Listed by Dreyer as a pair with NGC 2630, which see for historical information, and has been suggested (per Corwin) as possibly being PGC 24760, or "NGC 2634A"; but even if that should prove correct, this entry will remain essentially as-is.

NGC 2632 (=
M44 = OCL 507), Praesepe, the Beehive Cluster
Recorded (360 to 380 B.C.E.) by Eudoxus of Cnidus
Earliest extant mention (260 B.C.E.) by Aratos
Recorded (130 B.C.E.) by Hipparchus
Recorded (March 4, 1769) by Charles Messier
A 3rd-magnitude open cluster (type II2m) in Cancer (RA 08 40 24.0, Dec +19 40 12)
Praesepe, or the Beehive Cluster, is easily visible as a "little cloud" of stars in dark skies, and was already known in ancient times, when dark night skies were common. The first known mention of its existence is by Aratos, as part of a poem meant to reproduce the now lost prose of Eudoxus of Cnidus. Eudoxus was the first to propose a system of turning spheres as an explanation of the motions of heavenly bodies, and apparently as part of that work he discussed the rising and setting of various constellations. A review of Aratos' work by Hipparchus shows that Eudoxus' work was still extant at the time of Hipparchus, who pointed out errors in both the original prose and (more critically) its poetic transformation. Although practically all of Hipparchus' astronomical works have been lost, we know through Ptolemy that Hipparchus made thousands of relatively accurate observations of celestial objects, and on that basis can be confidently assigned the place of honor as the first person to estimate a reasonably accurate position for the cluster; but the existence of the "little cloud" must have been known no later than the time of Eudoxus and more likely, at least as early as the time of Eudoxus' father, Aeschines of Cnidus, who was an avid observer of the skies. The cluster was first resolved into stars by Galileo, and not long after by some of his contemporaries (for instance, Hodierna had it as #1 in his list of objects which were nebulous to the naked eye, but resolved into stars by a telescope); so it had a long history before Messier added it to his catalog. Per Dreyer, NGC 2632 (= Hipparchus, Messier 44, 1860 RA 08 32, NPD 69 32) is "Praesepe Cancri". The position precesses to RA 08 40 03.8, Dec +19 58 33, well within the 95 arcmin diameter of the cluster, so even without the millennia of historical precedence the identification would be certain. Praesepe is one of the nearest clusters to the Sun, being only about 575 light years away. Given its distance and apparent size, it is about 15 light years across. Studies of the proper motion of objects in the region of the cluster show that about 200 stars share the same motion, and must be cluster members. The nature of the brightest stars in the cluster suggests an age of 730 million years, which is not much less than the 790 million years estimated for the Hyades, and both clusters have similar proper motions, so it is possible that they originated in the same (unknown) star-forming region, at about the same time.
NOAO image of open cluster NGC 2632, also known as Praesepe, or the Beehive Cluster, and as M44
Above, an NOAO image of Praesepe (Image Credit: Tom Bash and John Fox/Adam Block/AURA/NSF/NOAO)
Below, a 1.75 degree wide view of the region surrounding the cluster
DSS image of region near open cluster NGC 2632, also known as Praesepe, or the Beehive Cluster, and as M44

NGC 2633 (= PGC 24723 =
Arp 80)
Discovered (Aug 11, 1882) by Wilhelm Tempel (VI-4, IX-6)
A 12th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type SB(s)b pec?) in Camelopardalis (RA 08 48 04.6, Dec +74 05 57)
Based on a recessional velocity of 2160 km/sec, NGC 2633 is about 100 million light years away, in good agreement with redshift-independent distance measurements of 90 to 110 million light years. Given that and its apparent size of 2.3 by 1.5 arcmin, it is about 65 thousand light years across. As in the case of Arp 79, NGC 2633's listing as Arp 80 is supposed to mean it is a spiral galaxy with a large high surface brightness companion, but there is no sign of such a companion on the corresponding Arp Atlas plate, and the assignment was presumably made merely on the basis of the increased brightness in the star-forming regions on the southern side of the galaxy.
DSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2633, also known as Arp 80
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2633
Below, a detailed image of part of the galaxy (Image Credits: Hubble Legacy Archive, Wikimedia Commons)
HST image of the eastern portion of spiral galaxy NGC 2633, also known as Arp 80
Below, an infrared view of the galaxy (Image Credits: Spitzer Space Telescope, Wikimedia Commons)
Spitzer infrared image of spiral galaxy NGC 2633, also known as Arp 80
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
DSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2633, also known as Arp 80

NGC 2634 (= PGC 24749)
Discovered (Aug 11, 1882) by
Wilhelm Tempel (VI-5, IX-7)
A 12th-magnitude elliptical galaxy (type E1?) in Camelopardalis (RA 08 48 25.5, Dec +73 58 02)
Apparent size 1.7 by 1.6 arcmin. Possibly the "lost" NGC 2630.

PGC 24760 (= "NGC 2634A")
Not an NGC object unless the "lost"
NGC 2631, but often called NGC 2634A since near NGC 2634
A 14th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type SBbc?) in Camelopardalis (RA 08 48 38.1, Dec +73 58 19)
Apparent size 1.8 by 0.4 arcmin

NGC 2635 (= OCL 728)
Discovered (Feb 2, 1835) by
John Herschel
An 11th-magnitude open cluster (type I3p) in Pyxis (RA 08 38 25.9, Dec -34 46 18)
Apparent size 3.0 arcmin

NGC 2636 (= PGC 24747)
Discovered (Jul 27, 1882) by
Wilhelm Tempel (IX-8)
A 14th-magnitude elliptical galaxy (type E0?) in Camelopardalis (RA 08 48 24.4, Dec +73 40 18)
Apparent size 0.4 by 0.4 arcmin

NGC 2637 (= PGC 24409 ??)
Recorded (Oct 30, 1864) by
Albert Marth
A nonexistent or "lost" object in Cancer (RA 08 41 19.4, Dec +19 33 21)
or PGC 24409, a 15th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type SB?) at RA 08 41 13.5, Dec +19 41 29
Per Dreyer, NGC 2637 (= Marth 130, 1860 RA 08 33 17, NPD 69 57) is "most extremely faint, very small". The position precesses to RA 08 41 19.4, Dec +19 33 21, but there is nothing near the position, so NGC 2637 is often listed as lost or nonexistent. However, a number of databases list a galaxy (PGC 24409) approximately 8 arcmin to the north as NGC 2637 (for instance, LEDA and Wikisky), and although Steinicke lists the NGC object as lost or nonexistent, he gives it a position identical to that of PGC 24409. The rationale (per Corwin) is that of a number of objects observed by Marth on the night in question most are found near his positions, but two are not, and could be listed as lost or nonexistent. However, if it is assumed that both "lost" objects were misrecorded as being about 10 arcmin south of their true positions, then there are appropriate candidates for what he saw, and on that basis NGC 2637 is generally taken to be PGC 24409, and NGC 2643 as PGC 24434. Based on that, this entry treats NGC 2637 as if it is PGC 24409; and even if that were wrong, since the galaxy is listed as NGC 2637 in many places, it seems appropriate to discuss it here, anyway. Based on a recessional velocity of 9705 km/sec, PGC 24409 is about 450 million light years away (a distance at which relativistic calcultions might be used, but would produce only a minor change in the result). Given that and its apparent size of 0.65 by 0.45 arcmin, the galaxy is about 85 thousand light years across.
SDSS image of spiral galaxy PGC 24409, which may be the otherwise lost NGC 2637
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of PGC 24409, which may be Marth's NGC 2637
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy PGC 24409, which may be the otherwise lost NGC 2637

NGC 2638 (= PGC 24453)
Recorded (Jan 21, 1885) by
Édouard Stephan (13-42)
A 13th-magnitude lenticular galaxy (type S0/a?) in Lynx (RA 08 42 25.8, Dec +37 13 15)
Apparent size 1.7 by 0.6 arcmin

NGC 2639 (= PGC 24506 = PGC 24507)
Discovered (Mar 9, 1788) by
William Herschel
A 12th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type Sa?) in Ursa Major (RA 08 43 37.8, Dec +50 12 22)
Apparent size 1.8 by 1.1 arcmin

NGC 2640 (= PGC 24229)
Discovered (Feb 26, 1835) by
John Herschel
An 11th-magnitude lenticular galaxy (type E/SB0?) in Carina (RA 08 37 24.7, Dec -55 07 25)
Apparent size 2.2 by 1.9 arcmin

NGC 2641 (= PGC 24722)
Discovered (Sep 30, 1802) by
William Herschel
A 14th-magnitude lenticular galaxy (type S0?) in Ursa Major (RA 08 47 57.4, Dec +72 53 47)
Apparent size 1.3 by 1.1 arcmin

NGC 2642 (= PGC 24395 = PGC 1062553)
Discovered (Feb 19, 1830) by
John Herschel
A 13th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type SBbc?) in Hydra (RA 08 40 44.4, Dec -04 07 20)
Apparent size 2.0 by 1.8 arcmin

NGC 2643 (=
IC 2390 ?? = PGC 24434 ??)
Recorded (Oct 30, 1864) by Albert Marth
A nonexistent or "lost" object in Cancer (RA 08 42 10.1, Dec +19 31 13)
or IC 2390, which see
Per Dreyer, NGC 2643 (= Marth 131, 1860 RA 08 34 08, NPD 69 59) is an "extremely faint nebulous star". The position precesses to RA 08 42 10.1, Dec +19 31 13, but there is nothing near the position, so NGC 2643 is often listed as lost or nonexistent. However, a number of databases list a galaxy (PGC 24434) approximately 10 arcmin to the north as NGC 2643 (for instance, LEDA and Wikisky). The rationale (per Corwin) is that of a number of objects observed by Marth on the night in question most are found near his positions, but two are not, and could be listed as lost or nonexistent. However, if it is assumed that both "lost" objects were misrecorded as being about 10 arcmin south of their true positions, then there are appropriate candidates for what he saw, and on that basis NGC 2637 is generally taken to be PGC 24409, and NGC 2643 as PGC 24434, which Dreyer listed as IC 2390. However, even if that is correct, it seems most appropriate to use this entry only for historical information, and reference physical data and images at the IC entry.

NGC 2644 (= PGC 24425)
Discovered (Feb 6, 1877) by
Édouard Stephan (9-16)
A 12th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type Sc?) in Hydra (RA 08 41 32.0, Dec +04 58 51)
Apparent size 2.1 by 0.8 arcmin

NGC 2645 (= OCL 754)
Discovered (Dec 29, 1834) by
John Herschel
A 7th-magnitude open cluster (type II2p) in Vela (RA 08 39 03.1, Dec -46 13 38)
Apparent size 3.0 arcmin

NGC 2646 (= PGC 24838)
Discovered (Jul 27, 1883) by
Wilhelm Tempel (IX-9)
A 12th-magnitude lenticular galaxy (type SB0?) in Camelopardalis (RA 08 50 21.8, Dec +73 27 46)
Apparent size 1.3 by 1.3 arcmin

NGC 2647 (= PGC 24463)
Discovered (Oct 30, 1864) by
Albert Marth (132)
A 14th-magnitude compact galaxy (type C?) in Cancer (RA 08 42 43.0, Dec +19 39 04)
Apparent size 0.8 by 0.5 arcmin

NGC 2648 (= PGC 24464, and with
PGC 24469 = Arp 89)
Discovered (Mar 19, 1784) by William Herschel
A 12th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type Sa) in Cancer (RA 08 42 39.8, Dec +14 17 06)
Apparent size 3.2 by 1.1 arcmin
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2648 and its peculiar spiral companion PGC 24469, which comprise Arp 89
Above, a 5 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2648 and PGC 24469
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxies
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2648 and its peculiar spiral companion PGC 24469, which comprise Arp 89

PGC 24469 (with
NGC 2648 = Arp 89)
A 14th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type S? pec) in Cancer (RA 08 42 48.2, Dec +14 15 55)
Apparent size 1.55 by 0.3 arcmin. A physical companion of NGC 2648, which see.

NGC 2649 (= PGC 24531)
Discovered (Feb 5, 1788) by
William Herschel
A 12th-magnitude spiral galaxy (type SBbc?) in Lynx (RA 08 44 08.1, Dec +34 43 03)
Apparent size 1.5 by 1.4 arcmin
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 2649
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 2649
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 2649
Celestial Atlas
(NGC 2550 - 2599) ←     NGC Objects: NGC 2600 - 2649     → (NGC 2650 - 2699)