Celestial Atlas
(NGC 4600 - 4649) ←NGC Objects: NGC 4650 - 4699 Link for sharing this page on Facebook→ (NGC 4700 - 4749)
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Page last updated Oct 19, 2021
Completed entry for 4666
Checked Corwin positions, Dreyer entries, Steinicke physical data
WORKING 4678: Checking historical identifications (otherwise AOK)

WORKING 4651: Checking secondary observers listed by Dreyer or Steinicke
WORKING 4686: Checking Dreyer's 1912 study of WH's work & corrections to the entries for 4650 - 4699
NEXT: Check physical data, check/add/alter pix/tags/captions

NGC 4650 (= PGC 42891)
Discovered (Jun 26, 1834) by
John Herschel
A magnitude 11.6 lenticular galaxy (type SB0/a?) in Centaurus (RA 12 44 19.6, Dec -40 43 54)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4650 (= GC 3183 = JH 3413, 1860 RA 12 36 41, NPD 129 57.6) is "very faint, round, brighter middle, mottled but not resolved." The position precesses to RA 12 44 19.2, Dec -40 43 39, on the northern rim of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing comparable nearby (though the somewhat fainter PGC 42911 lies just to the east, as noted by Corwin), so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 3.2 by 2.7 arcmin?

PGC 42911
Not an NGC object but listed here since noted as an apparent companion of
NGC 4650 by Corwin
A magnitude ? galaxy (type ?) in Centaurus (RA 12 44 29.2, Dec -40 43 40)
See the galaxy's PGC entry for anything else (Note: entry not yet created, so link is 'broken')

PGC 42951 (= PGC 583203 = ESO 322-069= "NGC 4650A")
Not an NGC object, but listed here because sometimes called NGC 4650A
A magnitude 13.3 lenticular galaxy (type S0? pec (PRG)) in
Centaurus (RA 12 44 49.0, Dec -40 42 52)
Physical Information: Based on a recessional velocity relative to the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation of 3185 km/sec (and H0 = 70 km/sec/Mpc), PGC 42951 is about 145 to 150 million light-years away. Given that and its apparent size of about 2.0 by 0.6 arcmin for the entire structure (from the images below), the lenticular galaxy and its much larger polar ring span about 85 to 90 thousand light-years.
Classification Note: PGC 42951 is used by the de Vaucouleurs Atlas of Galaxy Types as an example of a PRG (Polar Ring Galaxy), while LEDA lists it as type S0/a (multiple), and NED as type Sc. Since it is thought that polar ring galaxies are the result of the merger of two galaxies at a nearly right angle to the plane of the larger galaxy, LEDA'S "multiple" note is not entirely unreasonable; and since the central galaxy is clearly a more or less lenticular object, and there is no doubt that the structure is one of the hundred or so known polar ring galaxies, I have chosen to use the "mixed" classification shown in the description line.
DSS image of region near polar ring galaxy PGC 42951, also known as NGC 4650A, also showing NGC 4950, PGC 42911 and PGC 42962
Above, a 12 arcmin wide DSS image centered on PGC 42951, also showing NGC 4650, PGC 42911 & 42962
Below, a 2.4 arcmin wide DSS image of the galaxy
DSS image of polar ring galaxy PGC 42951, also known as NGC 4650A
Below, a 1.2 by 2 arcmin wide image of the galaxy, showing the rotation of the polar ring
(toward us in blue, away from us in red) (Image Credit ESO/MUSE consortium/R. Bacon)
ESO image of polar ring galaxy PGC 42951, also known as NGC 4650A, showing the rotational motion of its ring, toward us on the southern side and away from us on the northern side
Below, a 1.1 by 2.4 arcmin wide image of the galaxy (North 24° left of vertical to allow for more detail)
(Image Credit The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA/ESA))

HST image of polar ring galaxy PGC 42951, also known as NGC 4650A

PGC 42983 (=
NGC 4661 (= "NGC 4650B"))
Not an NGC object, but listed here since sometimes called NGC 4650B
A magnitude 13.5 lenticular galaxy (type E/S0?) in Centaurus (RA 12 45 14.9, Dec -40 49 27)
Warning About Non-Standard Designations: PGC 42983 has, as shown above, its own NGC entry; as a result, using the non-standard designation NGC 4650B is pointless and confusing, and should never be done. The only reason for listing it here is as a warning against such usage.

NGC 4651 (= PGC 42833 =
Arp 189), the Umbrella Galaxy
Discovered (Dec 30, 1783) by William Herschel
Also observed (May 6, 1826) by John Herschel
A magnitude 10.8 spiral galaxy (type SA(rs)c pec) in Coma Berenices (RA 12 43 42.6, Dec +16 23 36)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4651 (= GC 3184 = JH 1409 = WH II 12, 1860 RA 12 36 42, NPD 72 50.5) is "considerably bright, large, extended 90, gradually brighter middle, mottled but not resolved". The position precesses to RA 12 43 42.4, Dec +16 23 27, right on the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Based on a recessional velocity relative to the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation of 1100 km/sec (and H0 = 70 km/sec/Mpc), NGC 4651 is about 50 to 55 million light-years away, in almost inevitable agreement with widely varying redshift-independent distance estimates of about 15 to 105 million light-years (the study mentioned below yielded an estimate of 60 to 65 million light-years). Given that and its apparent size of about 4.0 by 2.25 arcmin (from the images below), the main galaxy spans about 60 thousand light-years, while the apparent size of its apparent arms of about 9.0 by 3.25 arcmin (again, from the images below) corresponds to about 135 thousand light-years. The extended regions (and part of the main galaxy) have been shown to be the result of the larger galaxy "cannibalizing" a dwarf galaxy with about one fiftieth of the mass of the larger galaxy, and not only absorbing but also widely scattering the remnants of the dwarf galaxy. Such merging of smaller galaxies with larger one is very common (our own Milky Way galaxy has "eaten" several smaller satellite galaxies), but it is unusual to be able to determine the details of the process in such detail for objects as distant as NGC 4651.
Usage by the Arp Atlas: NGC 4651 is used by the Arp Atlas as an example of a galaxy with narrow filaments.
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 4651
Above, a 12 arcmin wide SDSS image centered on NGC 4651 shows
Below, a digitally enhanced version of the image above shows fainter details
Overexposed SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 4651
Another 12 arcmin wide image of the region shows even more detail
(Image Credit & © Jean-Charles Cuillandre (CFHT) & Giovanni Anselmi (Coelum), CFHT; used by permission
Canada-France Hawaii Telescope image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 4651
Below, a 4 arcmin wide SDSS image of the galaxy
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 4651, also known as Arp 189
Below, a 2.6 by 1.8 arcmin wide composite of HST images of the galaxy (the black area had no coverage)
(Image Credit Hubble Legacy Archive, Fabian RRRR, Courtney Seligman)
Composite of Hubble Legacy Archive images of spiral galaxy NGC 4651
Below, a 2.8 by 3.0 arcmin wide HST image of part of the galaxy
(Image Credit ESA/Hubble & NASA, D. Leonard)HST image of part of spiral galaxy NGC 4651

NGC 4652 (= PGC 42802)
Discovered (May 1, 1831) by
John Herschel
A magnitude 14.6 spiral galaxy (type Sb?) in Ursa Major (RA 12 43 19.8, Dec +58 57 54)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4652 (= GC 3185 = JH 1413, 1860 RA 12 36 49, NPD 30 16.3) is "pretty faint, pretty large, gradually brighter middle, 2 bright stars 6 arcmin to northwest". The position precesses to RA 12 43 04.5, Dec +58 57 38, right on the galaxy list above, the description fits (including the stars about 6 to 7 arcmin to the north-northwest) and there is nothing else near, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.0 by 0.2 arcmin?
Corwin lists an apparent companion (J124317.9+585743) on the western rim of the galaxy,
but nothing appears to be available for it.

NGC 4653 (= PGC 42847)
Discovered (Apr 11, 1787) by
William Herschel
A magnitude 12.2 spiral galaxy (type SBc?) in Virgo (RA 12 43 50.9, Dec -00 33 40)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4653 (= GC 3186 = WH III 662, 1860 RA 12 36 50, NPD 89 47.8) is "very faint, pretty large". The position precesses to RA 12 44 00.4, Dec -00 33 51, about 2.4 arcmin east of the galaxy listed above, but the description fits and there is nothing else near, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 3.1 by 2.7 arcmin?

NGC 4654 (= PGC 42857)
Discovered (Apr 12, 1784) by
William Herschel
Also observed (May 4, 1829) by John Herschel
A magnitude 10.5 spiral galaxy (type SBcd?) in Virgo (RA 12 43 56.6, Dec +13 07 36)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4654 (= GC 3187 = JH 1411 = WH II 126, NPD 12 36 54, NPD 76 07.1) is "faint, very large, pretty much extended, possible double, 3 stars near". The position precesses to RA 12 43 56.4, Dec +13 06 51, on the southern rim of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing comparable nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 5.0 by 3.1 arcmin? Listed as a member (VCC 1987) of the Virgo Cluster.

NGC 4655 (= PGC 42823)
Discovered (Apr 9, 1787) by
William Herschel
Also observed (May 6, 1828) by John Herschel
A magnitude 13.9 elliptical galaxy (type E?) in Canes Venatici (RA 12 43 36.5, Dec +41 01 07)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4655 (= GC 3188 = JH 1412 = WH II 661, 1860 RA 12 36 55, NPD 48 12.4) is "very faint, very small, stellar, 15th magnitude star to east". The position precesses to RA 12 43 36.4, Dec +41 01 33, only 0.4 arcmin north of the galaxy listed above, the description fits (including the position of the star to the east) and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.0 by 1.0 arcmin?

NGC 4656 (= PGC 42863), The Hockey Stick
Discovered (Mar 20, 1787) by
William Herschel
Also observed (Apr 29, 1827) by John Herschel
A magnitude 10.5 spiral galaxy (type SB(s)m? pec) in Canes Venatici (RA 12 43 58.4, Dec +32 10 21)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4656 (= GC 3189 = JH 1414 = WH I 176, 1860 RA 12 37 09, NPD 57 04.0) is "a remarkable object, pretty bright, large, very much extended 34, southwestern of 2", the other being NGC 4657. The position precesses to RA 12 43 58.3, within 0.2 arcmin of the center of the galaxy listed above and the description fits, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Based on a recessional velocity of 645 km/sec (and H0 = 70 km/sec/Mpc), NGC 4656 is about 30 million light-years away, in reasonable agreement with redshift-independent distance estimate of 18 to 24 million light-years. Given that and an apparent size of about 8.9 by 1.4 arcmin for the main galaxy and a length of more than 19 arcmin counting the faint northern and southern extensions (from the images below), the main galaxy is about 75 to 80 thousand light-years across, and the entire structure spans more than 165 thousand light-years. The galaxy is a gravitationally bound companion of NGC 4631, which lies about half a degree to the northwest (and depending upon its distance, could be within half a million light-years of its neighbor). Their interaction is probably responsible for the curved end of the galaxy (which is listed as NGC 4657), and its appellation.
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 4656
Above, an 18 arcmin wide SDSS image centered on NGC 4656, enhanced to show its fainter extensions
Below, a 9 arcmin wide SDSS image of the galaxy
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 4656
Below, a 2.4 arcmin wide image of the central part of the galaxy (Image Credit ESA/Hubble & NASA)
HST image of part of spiral galaxy NGC 4656
Below, the HST image above overlaid on the 9 arcmin wide SDSS image of the galaxy
HST image of part of spiral galaxy NGC 4656 overlaid on a SDSS image of the galaxy to show their relative position
Below, a 45 arcmin wide region centered betwen NGC 4656 and NGC 4631, the "Whale"
 SDSS image of region between NGC 4631 and NGC 4656

NGC 4657 (= part of
NGC 4656
Discovered (Mar 20, 1787) by William Herschel
Also observed (Apr 3, 1831) by John Herschel
A magnitude 12.4 star-forming region in NGC 4656 (RA 12 44 05.9, Dec +32 12 33)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4657 (= GC 3190 = JH 1415 = WH I 177, 1860 RA 12 37 18, NPD 57 00.8) is "remarkable, pretty faint, large, extended about 90, northeastern of 2". The position precesses to RA 12 44 07.1, Dec +32 13 10, about 0.6 arcmin north of the object, which is a region of bright starclouds on the northeastern end of NGC 4656, making that galaxy the 'southwestern of 2' (per its historical description) and NGC 4657 the 'northeastern of 2', confirming its identification.
Physical Information: Though treated as a separate nebula when only the brighter portions of NGC 4656 were observable, and still listed as an irregular galaxy in some places, it is almost certainly a "starburst" region filled with clouds of bright stars as a result of the gravitational interaction of NGC 4656 and NGC 4631, which is less than half a degree to the northwest, and may be less than half a million light-years away from NGC 4656. At the 25 to 30 million light-years' distance of NGC 4656, the apparent size of NGC 4657 (about 2 by 1 arcmin) corresponds to about 7 or 8 thousand light-years.
SDSS image of NGC 4657
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 4657; see NGC 4656 for a wide-field image

NGC 4658 (= PGC 42929)
Discovered (Mar 25, 1786) by
William Herschel
Also observed (May 27, 1835) by John Herschel
A magnitude 12.5 spiral galaxy (type SBbc?) in Virgo (RA 12 44 37.8, Dec -10 04 59)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4658 (= GC 3191 = JH 3414 = WH II 558, 1860 RA 12 37 23, NPD 99 18.9) is "very faint, large, extended, 16th magnitude star attached, 9th magnitude star to west". The position precesses to RA 12 44 39.0, Dec -10 04 56, on the eastern rim of the galaxy listed above, the description fits (including the position of the nearby stars) and there is nothing else near, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 2.1 by 0.9 arcmin?

NGC 4659 (= PGC 42913)
Discovered (Apr 12, 1784) by
William Herschel
Also observed (Apr 3, 1826) by John Herschel
A magnitude 12.1 lenticular galaxy (type S0/a?) in Coma Berenices (RA 12 44 29.4, Dec +13 29 55)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4659 (= GC 3192 = JH 1416 = WH II 127, 1860 RA 12 37 28, NPD 75 44.4) is "faint, considerably small, round, brighter middle, mottled but not resolved". The position precesses to RA 12 44 30.1, Dec +13 29 35, just off the southeastern rim of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.8 by 1.3 arcmin? Listed as a member (VCC 1999) of the Virgo Cluster.

NGC 4660 (= PGC 42917)
Discovered (Mar 15, 1784) by
William Herschel
Also observed (Mar 29, 1830) by John Herschel
A magnitude 11.2 elliptical galaxy (type E2?) in Virgo (RA 12 44 32.0, Dec +11 11 26)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4660 (= GC 3193 = JH 1417 = WH II 71, 1860 RA 12 37 29, NPD 78 04.1) is "very bright, small, very suddenly very much brighter middle and nucleus". The position precesses to RA 12 44 32.5, Dec +11 09 53, about 1.5 arcmin south of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 2.1 by 1.7 arcmin? Llisted as a member (VCC 2000) of the Virgo Cluster.

NGC 4661 (= PGC 42983 = "NGC 4650B")
Discovered (Jun 5, 1834) by
John Herschel
A magnitude 13.5 lenticular galaxy (type E/S0?) in Centaurus (RA 12 45 14.9, Dec -40 49 27)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4661 (= GC 3194 = JH 3415, 1860 RA 12 37 38, NPD 130 19.9) is "faint, pretty large, round, gradually brighter middle". The position precesses to RA 12 45 17.3, Dec -41 05 55, but there is nothing there. However, per Corwin, although the NGC (and the GC) gives a relatively precise position, the original Cape of Good Hope observational list indicates that there was only one observation, marked as being of very uncertain position, with the RA given to only the nearest minute of time, and the declination to the nearest arcminute. And although the declination is nearly 17 arcmin to the south of the galaxy listed above, it is the only one that Herschel could possibly have seen, so the identification is considered certain despite the poor position.
Note About Non-Standard Designation: Corwin notes that the non-standard NGC 4650B designation originated in the 1964 Reference Catalog, presumably because the poor position in the NGC made it easy for catalogers to be unaware of the correct designation, and it is not terribly far from NGC 4650.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.2 by 0.4 arcmin?
DSS image of region centered on lenticular galaxy NGC 4661
Above, a 12 arcmin wide DSS image centered on NGC 4661
Below, a 2.4 arcmin wide DSS image of the galaxy
DSS image of lenticular galaxy NGC 4661

NGC 4662 (= PGC 42904)
Discovered (Mar 17, 1787) by
William Herschel
Also observed (Apr 28, 1827) by John Herschel
A magnitude 12.7 spiral galaxy (type SBbc?) in Canes Venatici (RA 12 44 26.2, Dec +37 07 16)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4662 (= GC 3195 = JH 1418 = WH II 643, 1860 RA 12 37 43, NPC 52 06.0) is "pretty faint, pretty large, round, gradually brighter middle, mottled but not resolved". The position precesses to RA 12 44 27.7, Dec +37 07 59, on the northern rim of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.9 by 1.6 arcmin?

NGC 4663 (=
IC 811 = PGC 42946)
Discovered (1882) by Wilhelm Tempel (and later listed as NGC 4663)
Discovered (May 13, 1888) by Guillaume Bigourdan (and later listed as IC 811)
A magnitude 13.5 lenticular galaxy (type SB0?) in Virgo (RA 12 44 47.1, Dec -10 11 52)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4663 (Tempel list V, 1860 RA 12 37 43, NPD 99 24) is "very faint, small, 13th or 14th magnitude star to east". The position precesses to RA 12 44 59.1, Dec -10 10 01, about 3.5 arcmin northeast of the galaxy listed above, but the description fits (including the 13th magnitude star to the southeast) and there is nothing else nearby save for NGC 4658, which does not fit the description and is otherwise accounted for, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.1 by 0.8 arcmin?

NGC 4664 (=
NGC 4624 = NGC 4665 = PGC 42970)
Discovered (Feb 23, 1784) by William Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4664)
Recorded (Apr 30, 1786) by William Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4665)
Also observed (Apr 7, 1828) by John Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4665)
Recorded (Apr 9, 1828) by John Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4624)
A magnitude 10.5 lenticular galaxy (type SB0/a?) in Virgo (RA 12 45 06.0, Dec +03 03 21)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4664 (= GC 3196 = WH II 39, 1860 RA 12 37 46, NPD 86 00.8) is "pretty bright, 2 small stars in middle, small star to west (equal to h 1419?)", "(JH) 1419" being NGC 4665, which is indeed the same object. The position precesses to RA 12 44 54.2, Dec +03 13 11, but there is nothing there, since (as stated in the following) WH made a 10 arcmin error in the NPD. In Dreyer's notes for The Scientific Papers of Sir William Herschel he states "II.39. Sw(eep) 158, Feb 23, 1784. "A pretty bright nebula, it contains two stars in the centre and is preceded by a small star at the distance of 1/2 or 3/4 arcmin." Neither (William) nor (John) Herschel nor d'Arrest saw more than one nebula here, it is therefore = I 142 (which has a star 10th magnitude 4.8 seconds of time to the west and a very little south) with an error 10 arcmin in P.D." (WH) I 142 is NGC 4665, so in his 1912 paper of corrections to the NGC based on his analysis of Herschel's papers, Dreyer states that NGC 4664 = NGC 4665, as noted in the title for this entry.
Physical Information: Apparent size 3.5 by 3.5 arcmin?
SDSS image of region near NGC 4664
Above, a 12 arcmin wide SDSS image centered on lenticular galaxy NGC 4664
Below, a 4 arcmin wide SDSS image of the galaxy
SDSS image of NGC 4664

NGC 4665 (=
NGC 4624 = NGC 4664 = PGC 42970)
Discovered (Feb 23, 1784) by William Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4664)
Also observed (Apr 30, 1786) by William Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4665)
Also observed (Apr 7, 1828) by John Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4665)
Recorded (Apr 9, 1828) by John Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4624)
A magnitude 10.5 lenticular galaxy (type SB0/a?) in Virgo (RA 12 45 06.0, Dec +03 03 21)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4665 (= GC 3197 = JH 1419 = WH I 142, 1860 RA 12 37 58, NPD 86 10.7) is "bright, pretty large, irregularly round, much brighter middle, 10th magnitude star to southwest". The position precesses to RA 12 45 06.3, Dec +03 03 18, almost dead center on the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Discovery Notes: See the entry for NGC 4664 for the more than a century old realization that it is a misrecorded observation of NGC 4665.
Physical Information: Given the duplicate entry, see NGC 4664 for anything else.

NGC 4666
(= PGC 42975 = UGC 7926 = CGCG 015-015 = MCG +00-33-008)

Discovered (Feb 22, 1784) by
William Herschel
Also observed (Apr 14, 1828) by John Herschel
A magnitude 10.7 spiral galaxy (type SAB(s)c sp) in Virgo (RA 12 45 08.6, Dec -00 27 43)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4666 (= GC 3198 = JH 1420 = WH I 15, 1860 RA 12 37 58, NPD 89 41.7) is "bright, very large, much extended 45, pretty suddenly brighter middle." The position precesses to RA 12 45 08.3, Dec -00 27 42, dead center on the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing comparable nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Based on a recessional velocity relative to the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation of 1850 km/sec (and H0 = 70 km/sec/Mpc), NGC 4666 is about 85 to 90 million light-years away, in fair agreement with redshift-independent distance estimates of about 40 to 75 million light-years (the HST press release uses a value of about 80 million light-years). Given that and its apparent size of about 4.35 by 1.1 arcmin (from the images below), the galaxy is about 110 thousand light-years across. The galaxy is undergoing unusually rapid star-formation, leading to its being referred to as a starburst galaxy. It exhibits strong emission lines due to the heating of interstellar gases by hot, bright young stars, leading to the classification "LINER", and the way in which its dusty regions appear to be all stirred up, as if being blown about by some kind of wind (referred to as a "gale" in the HST press release) is probably also related to its high rate of star formation.
Use By The de Vaucouleurs Atlas: NGC 4666 is used by The de Vaucouleurs Atlas of Galaxies as an example of type SAB(s)c sp ("sp" stands for "spindle", or edge-on galaxy). Since this more or less agrees with classifications in other references I have used that type in the description line for this entry.
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 4666, also showing NGC 4668
Above, a 12 arcmin wide SDSS image centered on NGC 4666, also showing NGC 4668
Below, a 4.5 arcmin wide SDSS image of the galaxy
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 4666
Below, a 1.5 by 3 arcmin wide image of the central portion of the galaxy (rotated 45° clockwise to allow for more detail)
(Image Credit ESA/Hubble & NASA, O. Graur; Acknowledgement L. Shatz)
HST image of central portion of spiral galaxy NGC 4666

NGC 4667 (=
NGC 4638 = PGC 42728)
Discovered (Mar 15, 1784) by William Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4638)
Recorded (Mar 23, 1830) by John Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4667)
Looked for but not found (date?) by Heinrich d'Arrest (while listed as NGC 4667)
Looked for but not found (date?) by Hermann Vogel (while listed as NGC 4667)
Looked for but not found (date?) by Royal Frost (while listed as NGC 4667)
A magnitude 11.2 lenticular galaxy (type E/S0?) in Virgo (RA 12 42 47.4, Dec +11 26 33)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4667 (= GC 3199 = JH 1421, 1860 RA 12 38 12, NPD 77 47.5) is "bright, small, round, pretty suddenly brighter middle?". The second IC notes "Not found by Frost on 4 hour plate. Not found by d'Arrest and Vogel". The position precesses to RA 12 45 15.2, Dec +11 26 30, but there is nothing there, so it is hardly surprising that Frost, d'Arrest and Vogel found nothing at the NGC position. However, Corwin has previously noted that JH made an error of two minutes of time in the reduction of his observation of JH 1421, and in response to a question about that, sent me a detailed discussion of the original observation and its proper reduction, resulting in an 1830 position of RA 12 34 14.7, Dec +12 22 22 (equivalent to an 1860 position of RA 12 35 45.5, NPD 77 47.5, or about 2 1/2 minutes of time west of the NGC position), which precesses to RA 12 42 49.1, Dec +11 26 22, on the southeastern rim of the galaxy listed above, and since the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, the identification of NGC 4667 as a duplicate but erroneously reduced observation of NGC 4638 is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 2.2 by 1.4 arcmin? Listed as a member (VCC 1938) of the Virgo Cluster. However, once the other entry is completed, this paragraph will be changed to "Given the duplicate entry, see NGC 4638 for anything else."

NGC 4668 (= PGC 42999)
Discovered (Apr 11, 1787) by
William Herschel
A magnitude 13.1 spiral galaxy (type SBcd?) in Virgo (RA 12 45 32.0, Dec -00 32 08)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4668 (= GC 3200 = WH III 663, 1860 RA 12 38 23, NPD 89 47.0) is "very faint, small, irregular figure". The position precesses to RA 12 45 33.4, Dec -00 32 59, only 0.9 arcmin south-southeast of the galaxy above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.4 by 0.8 arcmin?

NGC 4669 (= PGC 42942)
Discovered (Apr 14, 1789) by
William Herschel
Discovered (Dec 10, 1866) by Heinrich d'Arrest
A magnitude 13.2 spiral galaxy (type Sb?) in Ursa Major (RA 12 44 46.8, Dec +54 52 32)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4669 (= GC 5668, d'Arrest, (WH III 778), 1860 RA 12 38 23, NPD 34 21.9) is "faint, extended, (mottled but not resolved?)". The position precesses to RA 12 44 44.6, Dec +54 52 06, only 0.5 arcmin southwest of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Discovery Notes: In Dreyer's notes for The Scientific Papers of Sir William Herschel he states that there were several errors made in the right ascensions measured on Apr 14, 1789 (Herschel's Sweep 921), in a region where there were several nebulae, with the result that John Herschel mistakenly assigned WH III 778 to NGC 4675, whereas it was actually identical to d'Arrest's NGC 4669. Because of that, in his 1912 paper listing corrections to be made to the NGC as a result of his study of Herschel's papers, Dreyer stated that WH III 778 = NGC 4669; but of course he did not know that when the NGC was published in 1888, hence my inserting that correction in parentheses in the NGC entry shown above.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.8 by 0.6 arcmin?

NGC 4670 (= PGC 42987 =
Arp 163)
Discovered (Apr 6, 1785) by William Herschel
Also observed (Mar 26, 1827) by John Herschel
A magnitude 12.7 lenticular galaxy (type SB0/a?) in Coma Berenices (RA 12 45 17.2, Dec +27 07 32)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4670 (= GC 3201 = JH 1422 = WH III 328, 1860 RA 12 38 24, NPD 62 06.6) is "pretty faint, considerably small, round, brighter middle, mottled but not resolved, western of 2", the other being NGC 4673. The position precesses to RA 12 45 16.6, Dec +27 07 24, on the southwestern rim of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.4 by 1.2 arcmin? Used by the Arp Atlas as an example of a galaxy with diffuse filaments.

NGC 4671 (= PGC 43029)
Discovered (Mar 20, 1789) by
William Herschel
Also observed (Apr 16, 1828) by John Herschel
A magnitude 12.6 elliptical galaxy (type E2?) in Virgo (RA 12 45 47.6, Dec -07 04 11)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4671 (= GC 3202 = JH 1423 = WH II 774, 1860 RA 12 38 32, NPD 96 18.1) is "pretty faint, small, round, pretty suddenly much brighter middle". The position precesses to RA 12 45 46.3, Dec -07 04 05, on the western rim of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.3 by 1.1 arcmin?

NGC 4672 (= PGC 43073)
Discovered (Jun 8, 1834) by
John Herschel
A magnitude 13.1 spiral galaxy (type Sa?) in Centaurus (RA 12 46 15.8, Dec -41 42 22)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4672 (= GC 3203 = JH 3416, 1860 RA 12 38 36, NPD 130 56.9) is "extremely faint, small, round, very gradually brighter middle". The position precesses to RA 12 46 16.6, Dec -41 42 53, less than 0.6 arcmin south southeast of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 2.2 by 0.6 arcmin?

NGC 4673 (= PGC 43008)
Discovered (Apr 6, 1785) by
William Herschel
Also observed (Mar 25, 1827) by John Herschel
A magnitude 12.9 elliptical galaxy (type E1?) in Coma Berenices (RA 12 45 34.7, Dec +27 03 39)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4673 ( = GC 3204 = JH 1424 = WH III 329, 1860 RA 12 38 44, NPD 62 10.4) is "faint, very small, round, suddenly brighter middle equivalent to 10th magnitude star, eastern of 2", the other being NGC 4670. The position precesses to RA 12 45 36.5, Dec +27 03 37, only 0.4 arcmin east of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and its position relative to NGC 4670 (namely, 5.5 arcmin southeast of the brighter galaxy) confirms the identification.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.0 by 0.8 arcmin?

NGC 4674 (= PGC 43050)
Discovered (May 5, 1836) by
John Herschel
A magnitude 13.1 spiral galaxy (type SBa? pec) in Virgo (RA 12 46 03.5, Dec -08 39 20)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4674 (= GC 3205 = JH 3417, 1860 RA 12 38 47, NPD 97 52.7) is "very faint, considerably small, round, gradually a little brighter middle". The position precesses to RA 12 46 02.3, Dec -08 38 40, less than 0.7 arcmin north northwest of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Aparent size 1.6 by 0.5 arcmin?

NGC 4675 (= PGC 42998)
Discovered (Apr 14, 1789) by
William Herschel
A magnitude 14.3 spiral galaxy (type SBb?) in Ursa Major (RA 12 45 31.9, Dec +54 44 15)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4675 (= GC 3206 = WH III 778 (actually = WH II 795), 1860 RA 12 39 11, NPD 34 28.7) is "considerably faint, small, a little extended". The position precesses to RA 12 45 31.9, Dec +54 45 20, only 1 arcmin north of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification seems certain.
Discovery Notes: In Dreyer's notes for The Scientific Papers of Sir William Herschel he states that there were several errors made in the right ascensions measured on Apr 14, 1789 (Herschel's Sweep 921), in a region where there were several nebulae, with the result that John Herschel mistakenly assigned WH III 778 to NGC 4675, whereas it was actually identical to d'Arrest's NGC 4669. Although Dreyer made no specific reference to WH II 795 in the notes for The Scientific Papers, it is shown in the same table of observations made in Sweep 921, and in Dreyer's 1912 paper on corrections to be made to the NGC due to his study of Herschel's works, he states that WH III 778 is actually NGC 4669, and NGC 4675 is WH II 795 (hence the note about that in parentheses in the NGC entry above).
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.6 by 0.6 arcmin?

NGC 4676 (=
IC 819 + 820 = PGC 43062 + 43065 = Arp 242), The Mice
Discovered (Mar 13, 1785) by William Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4676)
Also observed (Apr 9, 1831) by John Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4676)
Recorded (Mar 20, 1892) by Rudolf Spitaler (and later listed as IC 819 and 820)
A pair of interacting galaxies in Coma Berenices
IC 819 = PGC 43062 is a magnitude 13.5 lenticular galaxy (type SB0/a?) at RA 12 46 10.1, Dec +30 43 55
IC 820 = PGC 43065 is a magnitude 13.8 lenticular galaxy (type S0/a?) at RA 12 46 11.2, Dec +30 43 22
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4676 (= GC 3207 = JH 1425 = WH II 326, 1860 RA 12 39 18, NPD 58 30.1) is "very faint, pretty much extended, perhaps bi-nuclear". (Herschel observed the two galaxies as a single "possibly bi-nuclear" nebula, while Spitaler observed them as separate objects, leading Dreyer to give the separate nebulae individual IC listings, despite their already being cataloged in the NGC.) The position precesses to RA 12 46 07.4, Dec +30 43 56, only 0.7 arcmin west northwest of the pair of galaxies listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Warning About Non-Standard Designations: PGC 43062 is sometimes referred to as "NGC 4676A", and PGC 43065 as "NGC 4676B". However, particularly when pairs of galaxies are referred to in such a way, it is common for the letters to be attached to the "wrong" galaxies, in which case a discussion of their physical properties can become equally incorrect. Such non-standard designations should always be avoided, and in this case there are specific listings for the galaxies as IC objects and in the PGC, UGC and MCG catalogs, so any of those methods of designating the galaxy under discussion is far preferable to adding to a letter to the NGC designation.
Physical Information: The "Mice", so-called because of their long "tails", are a pair of interacting galaxies about 300 million light-years away. The two galaxies have recently collided with each other, and will continue to do so again and again (over periods of hundreds of millions of years), until they eventually merge into a single galaxy. In the meantime, their gravitational interaction pulls stars away from each galaxy to form their elongated tails, and compresses the gas and dust between the stars, forming associations and clusters of hot, bright young stars which heat and light up the clouds out of which they just formed. Used by the Arp Atlas as an example of galaxies with the appearance of fission.
SDSS image of NGC 4676, also known as The Mice
Above, a 4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 4676
Below, a HST image of the galaxy pair (Image Credit: Holland Ford (JHU), ACS Science Team, ESA, NASA)
HST image of galaxy pair NGC 4676, The Mice
Below, a closeup of the central region of the image above
Closeup of The Mice, NGC 4676
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the pair, labeled with the NGC and IC listings
SDSS image of the region near NGC 4676, The Mice

NGC 4677 (= PGC 43127)
Discovered (Jun 8, 1834) by
John Herschel
A magnitude 12.8 lenticular galaxy (type SB0/a?) in Centaurus (RA 12 46 57.1, Dec -41 34 57)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4677 (= GC 3208 = JH 3418, 1860 RA 12 39 18, NPD 130 49.9) is "extremely faint, a little extended, very gradually brighter middle". The position precesses to RA 12 46 59.0, Dec -41 35 51, only 0.9 arcmin south southeast of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and although there is another galaxy about 5 arcmin further to the north, it is probably too faint for Herschel to have seen, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.6 by 0.7 arcmin?

WORKING HERE: Steinicke lists NGC 4678 as a pair of spiral galaxies
IC 824-1 (magnitude 14.3, type Sc? at RA 12 49 42.3, Dec -04 34 47)
and IC 824-2 = PGC 43385 (magnitude 13.5, type S? at RA 12 49 41.0, Dec -04 34 49)

NGC 4678 (probably =
IC 824)
(= PGC 43385 = MCG -01-33-018)

Discovered (1886) by Francis Leavenworth (and later listed as NGC 4678)
Discovered (May 15, 1893) by Stephane Javelle (and later listed as IC 824)
A magnitude 13.5 irregular galaxy (type Irr) in Virgo (RA 12 49 41.9, Dec -04 34 47)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4678 (Leavenworth list II (#456), 1860 RA 12 39 27, NPD 93 49.2) is "extremely faint, extremely small, round (nebulous?), star 2 seconds of time to east". The position precesses to RA 12 46 39.9, Dec -04 35 09, but there is nothing there. However, per Corwin, the Leander-McCormick positions were notoriously poor and often contained single-digit errors of position, so the fact that the galaxy listed above lies almost exactly 3 minutes of time to the east of Leavenworth's published position and is a good fit to his description (particularly the position of the nearby star) makes the identification of NGC 4678 as IC 824 essentially certain. That opinion carries enough weight that the galaxy listed above is usually referred to as NGC 4678, instead of the absolutely certain identification as IC 824.
Positional Note: The position listed above is for the entire system, including both the larger eastern portion and the smaller western patch, which is sometimes listed as a separate object, but is almost certainly only one of several regions of intense star formation within the overall structure.
Physical Information: Apparent size of about 0.9 by 0.6 arcmin (from the images below).
SDSS image of region centered on irregular galaxy NGC 4678
Above, a 12 arcmin wide SDSS image centered on NGC 4678
Below, a 1.2 arcmin wide SDSS image of the galaxy
SDSS image of irregular galaxy NGC 4678
Below, a 1 arcmin wide PanSTARRS image of the galaxy
PanSTARR image of irregular galaxy NGC 4678

NGC 4679 (= PGC 43170)
Discovered (Apr 22, 1835) by
John Herschel
A magnitude 12.4 spiral galaxy (type SBc?) in Centaurus (RA 12 47 30.3, Dec -39 34 15)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4679 (= GC 3209 = JH 3419, 1860 RA 12 39 36, NPD 128 48.1) is "most extremely faint, pretty large, round". The position precesses to RA 12 47 15.0, Dec -39 34 02, about 2.9 arcmin west of the galaxy listed above, but the description is a reasonable fit and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 2.5 by 0.9 arcmin?

NGC 4680
(= PGC 43118 = PGC 963465 = MCG -02-33-007)

Discovered (May 27, 1835) by
John Herschel
Also observed (May 8, 1896) by Guillaume Bigourdan
Also observed (Jul 1899 to Jun 1900) by Herbert Howe
A magnitude 12.6 spiral galaxy (type (R)SB(s)bc? pec) in Virgo (RA 12 46 54.7, Dec -11 38 14)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4680 (= GC 3210 = JH 3420, 1860 RA 12 39 36, NPD 100 52.6) is "extremely faint, small, 1 or 2 stars involved". The position precesses to RA 12 46 53.3, Dec -11 38 33, just off the southwestern rim of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Description Notes: Gottlieb notes that Howe accurately specified the position of the brighter of the two stars near the eastern rim of the galaxy (Howe wrote that he did not see any stars "involved", but that there was a magnitude 11 star only 1 second of time east of and 0.1 arcmin south of the nebula, which is the one superimposed on the faint outer portion of the galaxy, said portion of the galaxy being far too faint for him to see); but though that does give a more accurate desription of how the "1 or 2 stars" were "involved", it is not needed to verify the identification. Although Howe estimated the star's magnitude as 11, Bigourdan, whose observations can be found in his "Big Book" for RA 12 hours, accurately estimated the brightness of the magnitude 13.4 star (though it looks extremely bright in the images, it is actually very faint). I am sure that many others also looked at NGC 4680 'early on', but I have only mentioned Howe because of Gottlieb's comment, and Bigourdan as an example of an even better observation by a well-known contemporary observer.
Physical Information: Based on a recessional velocity relative to the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation of 2830 km/sec (and H0 = 70 km/sec/Mpc), NGC 4680 is about 130 to 135 million light-years away, in good agreement with redshift-independent distance estimates of about 55 to 135 million light-years (the HST press release states that the distance is 140 light-years, but that is obviously a typo for 140 million light-years). Given that and its apparent size of about 1.6 by 1.2 arcmin (from the images below), the galaxy is about 60 thousand light-years across.
Classification Note: Because of the galaxy's peculiar structure (namely its very large, very smooth outer region, which is atypical for spiral galaxies), it has sometimes been classified as a spiral, and sometimes as a lenticular galaxy (a class in-between ellipticals and spirals) of type S0/a, and in images taken prior to 2000, either classification seems reasonable, as long as "pec?" is added to the "type". However, the far better PanSTARRS images taken a decade or so ago, and the exquisite HST image, make it clear that it is a peculiar spiral.
PanSTARRS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 4680
Above, a 12 arcmin wide PanSTARRS image centered on NGC 4680
Below, a 1.75 arcmin wide PanSTARRS image of the galaxy
HST image of spiral galaxy NGC 4680
Below, a 1.75 arcmin wide image of the galaxy (Image Credit ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Riess et al.)
HST image of spiral galaxy NGC 4680
Below, a 1 arcmin wide image of the central galaxy (Image Credit as above)
HST image of central portion of spiral galaxy NGC 4680

NGC 4681 (= PGC 43166)
Discovered (Mar 15, 1836) by
John Herschel
A magnitude 12.5 spiral galaxy (type Sab?) in Centaurus (RA 12 47 28.8, Dec -43 20 05)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4681 (= GC 3211 = JH 3421, 1860 RA 12 39 46, NPD 132 34.8) is "pretty faint, small, round, gradually brighter middle". The position precesses to RA 12 47 29.3, Dec -43 20 44, just off the southern rim of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.4 by 1.2 arcmin?

NGC 4682 (= PGC 43147)
Discovered (Mar 25, 1786) by
William Herschel
Also observed (May 6, 1836) by John Herschel
A magnitude 12.2 spiral galaxy (type SBc?) in Virgo (RA 12 47 15.5, Dec -10 03 48)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4682 (= GC 3212 = JH 3423 = WH III 523, 1860 RA 12 39 58, NPD 99 17.5) is "considerably faint, large, extended 45, gradually a very little brighter middle". The position precesses to RA 12 47 14.3, Dec -10 03 26, on the northern rim of the galaxy listed above, the description is a reasonable fit (though actually extended about 85) and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 2.5 by 1.2 arcmin?

NGC 4683 (= PGC 43182)
Discovered (Jun 8, 1834) by
John Herschel
A magnitude 12.7 lenticular galaxy (type E/SB0?) in Centaurus (RA 12 47 42.4, Dec -41 31 42)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4683 (= GC 3213 = JH 3422, 1860 RA 12 40 03, NPD 130 47.4) is "extremely faint, pretty small, round, very gradually brighter middle, small star to southwest". The position precesses to RA 12 47 44.4, Dec -41 33 19, about 1.6 arcmin south southeast of the galaxy listed above, the description fits (including the star to the southwest) and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.3 by 0.9 arcmin?

NGC 4684 (= PGC 43149)
Discovered (Apr 17, 1784) by
William Herschel
Also observed (Apr 15, 1828) by John Herschel
A magnitude 11.4 lenticular galaxy (type SB0/a?) in Virgo (RA 12 47 17.5, Dec -02 43 38)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4684 (= GC 3214 = JH 1426 = WH II 181, 1860 RA 12 40 06, NPD 91 57.8) is "bright, pretty large, pretty much extended 25". The position precesses to RA 12 47 17.7, Dec -02 43 43, almost dead center on the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 2.8 by 1.1 arcmin?

NGC 4685 (= PGC 43143)
Discovered (Apr 27, 1785) by
William Herschel
Also observed (Mar 23, 1827) by John Herschel
A magnitude 12.6 lenticular galaxy (type S0^? pec) in Coma Berenices (RA 12 47 11.4, Dec +19 27 52)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4685 (= GC 3215 = JH 1427 = WH III 398, 1860 RA 12 40 13, NPD 69 46.9) is "faint, small, round, suddenly brighter middle like a star, partially resolved (some stars seen)". The position precesses to RA 12 47 10.5, Dec +19 27 11, only 0.7 arcmin south southwest of the nucleus of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Based on a recessional velocity of 6790 km/sec, NGC 4685 is about 315 million light-years away. Given that and its apparent size of 1.6 by 1.0 arcmin(?), the main body of the galaxy is about 150 thousand light-years across. It also has extended "arms" which cover an additional 40 thousand light-years both north and south of the central structure. NED lists NGC 4685 as a member of a group (M98j 181). Its distorted appearance is probably due to gravitational interactions with other members of the group.
SDSS image of NGC 4685
Above, a 2.4 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 4685
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
SDSS image of region near NGC 4685

NGC 4686 (= PGC 43101)
Discovered (Apr 14, 1789) by
William Herschel
Also observed (May 4, 1831) by John Herschel
A magnitude 12.6 spiral galaxy (type Sa?) in Ursa Major (RA 12 46 39.9, Dec +54 32 03)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4686 (= GC 3216 = JH 1428 = WH II 795 (actually = WH II 796), 1860 RA 12 40 19, NPD 34 42.0) is "pretty faint, very small, very much extended, very suddenly much brighter middle". The position precesses to RA 12 46 39.0, Dec +54 32 04, on the eastern rim of the nucleus of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Discovery Notes: Note to self: describe Dreyer's notes in The Scientific Papers of Sir William Herschel, then finish with Dreyer's 1912 paper based on his study of William Herschel's works (wher he notes that NGC 4686 is not WH II 795 (which is actually NGC 4675), but WH II 796.)
Physical Information: Apparent size 2.0 by 0.6 arcmin?

NGC 4687 (= PGC 43157)
Discovered (Mar 11, 1831) by
John Herschel
A magnitude 13.2 elliptical galaxy (type E1?) in Canes Venatici (RA 12 47 23.8, Dec +35 21 07)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4687 (= GC 3217 = JH 1430, 1860 RA 12 40 39, NPD 53 52.9) is "very faint, very small, round, pretty suddenly brighter middle". The position precesses to RA 12 47 23.6, Dec +35 21 12, almost dead center on the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 0.7 by 0.6 arcmin?

NGC 4688 (= PGC 43189)
Discovered (Apr 17, 1786) by
William Herschel
Also observed (Apr 9, 1828) by John Herschel
A magnitude 11.9 spiral galaxy (type SBc?) in Virgo (RA 12 47 46.5, Dec +04 20 10)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4688 (= GC 3218 = JH 1429 = WH III 543, 1860 RA 12 40 43, NPD 84 54.0) is "extremely faint, pretty large, 9th or 10th magnitude star 10 seconds of time to west". The position precesses to RA 12 47 50.3, Dec +04 20 06, on the eastern rim of the galaxy listed above, the description fits (including the star to the west) and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 3.2 by 2.8 arcmin?

NGC 4689 (= PGC 43186)
Discovered (Apr 12, 1784) by
William Herschel
Also observed (Mar 23, 1830) by John Herschel
Also observed (Apr 29, 1851) by Bindon Stoney
A magnitude 10.9 spiral galaxy (type (R)SA(rs)bc) in Coma Berenices (RA 12 47 45.6, Dec +13 45 46)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4689 (= GC 3219 = JH 1431 = WH II 128, 1860 RA 12 40 44, NPD 75 28.6) is "pretty bright, very large, extended, very gradually a little brighter middle, mottled but not resolved". The position precesses to RA 12 47 45.2, Dec +13 45 30, right on the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Discovery Note: Bindon Stoney's observation is listed due to a mention of it in Gottlieb's catalog of his NGC object observations.
Physical Information: NGC is a low-surface brightness spiral galaxy. Based on a recessional velocity relative to the Cosmic Microwave Background of 1930 km/sec (and H0 = 70 km/sec/Mpc), it is about 90 million light-years away, in fair agreement with redshift-independent distance estimates of about 4o to 80 million light-years. Given that and the apparent size of its fainter ring of about 5.8 by 4.5 arcmin (and of the brighter inner ring of about 4.25 by 3 arcmin, both values from the images below), the outer ring is about 150 to 155 thousand light-years across, and the inner ring is about 110 to 115 thousand light-years across. NGC 4689 is listed as a member (VCC 2058) of the Virgo Cluster, and as a Seyfert galaxy. It is used by the de Vaucouleurs atlas as an example of a galaxy of type (R)SA(rs)bc.
SDSS image of region near spiral galaxy NGC 4689
Above, a 12 arcmin wide SDSS image centered on NGC 4689
Below, a 6 by 8 arcmin wide SDSS image of the galaxy
SDSS image of spiral galaxy NGC 4689
Below, a 0.75 arcmin wide image of the central core of the galaxy (Image Credit ESA/Hubble & NASA)
HST image of core of spiral galaxy NGC 4689

NGC 4690 (= PGC 43202)
Discovered (Apr 11, 1787) by
William Herschel
A magnitude 12.9 lenticular galaxy (type E/S0?) in Virgo (RA 12 47 55.5, Dec -01 39 22)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4690 (= GC 3220 = WH III 664, 1860 RA 12 40 47, NPD 90 54.5) is "very faint, small". The position precesses to RA 12 47 58.1, Dec -01 40 24, only 1.2 arcmin southeast of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.2 by 0.8 arcmin?

NGC 4691 (= PGC 43238)
Discovered (Apr 17, 1784) by
William Herschel
Also observed (Apr 15, 1828) by John Herschel
A magnitude 11.1 lenticular galaxy (type SB0/a?) in Virgo (RA 12 48 13.7, Dec -03 19 58)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4691 (= GC 3221 = JH 1432 = WH II 182, 1860 RA 12 41 00, NPD 92 33.5) is "pretty bright, pretty large, extended 90, much brighter middle". The position precesses to RA 12 48 12.1, Dec -03 19 23, just above the northern rim of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 2.7 by 2.5 arcmin?
(Adam Block image at https://www.adamblockphotos.com/ngc-4691.html )

NGC 4692 (=
NGC 4702 = PGC 43200)
Discovered (Apr 11, 1785) by William Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4692)
Also observed (Mar 26, 1827) by John Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4692)
Discovered (Mar 4, 1867) by Heinrich d'Arrest (and later listed as NGC 4702)
A magnitude 12.5 elliptical galaxy (type E0?) in Coma Berenices (RA 12 47 55.3, Dec +27 13 20)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4692 (= GC 3222 = JH 1433 = WH II 381, 1860 RA 12 41 03, NPD 62 00.7) is "faint, considerably small, round, brighter middle". The position precesses to RA 12 47 54.4, Dec +27 13 25, on the northwestern rim of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.3 by 1.3 arcmin?

NGC 4693 (= PGC 43141)
Discovered (Apr 7, 1793) by
William Herschel
A magnitude 13.4 spiral galaxy (type Scd?) in Draco (RA 12 47 09.2, Dec +71 10 35)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4693 (= GC 3223 = WH III 906, 1860 RA 12 41 06, NPD 18 03.7) is "very faint, pretty large, extended" (the NGC states "vF, plE" meaning "very faint, pretty little extended", but the GC reads "vF; pL; E", suggesting a typographical error in the NGC transcription). The position precesses to RA 12 46 29.7, Dec +71 10 23, just over 3 arcmin west of the galaxy listed above, but the GC description fits perfectly and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 2.4 by 0.5 arcmin?

NGC 4694 (= PGC 43241)
Discovered (Mar 15, 1784) by
William Herschel
Also observed (May 9, 1825) by John Herschel
A magnitude 11.4 lenticular galaxy (type SB0?) in Virgo (RA 12 48 15.1, Dec +10 59 00)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4694 (= GC 3225 = JH 1434 = WH II 72, 1860 RA 12 41 11, NPD 78 14.8) is "pretty faint, small, very little extended". The position precesses to RA 12 48 14.0, Dec +10 59 19, well within the northwestern outline of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 3.3 by 1.6 arcmin? Listed as a member (VCC 2066) of the Virgo Cluster.

NGC 4695 (=
IC 3791 = PGC 43173)
Discovered (Mar 24, 1791) by William Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4695)
Also observed (May 4, 1831) by John Herschel (and later listed as NGC 4695)
Discovered (May 23, 1897) by Lewis Swift (and later listed as IC 3791)
A magnitude 13.5 spiral galaxy (type SBbc?) in Ursa Major (RA 12 47 32.1, Dec +54 22 29)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4695 (= GC 3224 = JH 1435 = WH II 796, 1860 RA 12 41 12, NPD 34 51.4) is "extremely faint, pretty small, very little extended, much brighter middle and nucleus". The position precesses to RA 12 47 31.3, Dec +54 22 42, on the northern rim of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Discovery Notes: In Dreyer's 1912 paper based on his examination of William Herschel's works, he states that NGC 4695 is not WH II 796 (which is actually NGC 4686), but WH III 985.
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.1 by 0.7 arcmin?
Corwin lists an apparent companion (PGC 214029) at RA 12 47 35.0, Dec +54 21 54

WORKING HERE Dec 12, 2016; adding HST images, also working on PGC 43323

NGC 4696 (= PGC 43296 = PGC 576860 = PGC 577001)
Discovered (May 7, 1826) by
James Dunlop
Also observed (Jun 5, 1834) by John Herschel
A magnitude 10.4 elliptical galaxy (type E2? pec) in Centaurus (RA 12 48 49.3, Dec -41 18 39)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4696 (= GC 3226 = JH 3424, Dunlop 510?, 1860 RA 12 41 12, NPD 130 32.5) is "pretty bright, large, round, gradually brighter middle, mottled but not resolved". The position precesses to RA 12 48 54.0, Dec -41 18 22, on the northeastern rim of the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing comparable nearby, so the identification is certain.
Discovery Notes: (To self: Some references list this as Dunlop 510, and others as Dunlop 511; I need to do an independent assessment when I complete the historical identification.)
Physical Information: Based on a recessional velocity of 2960 km/sec, NGC 4696 is 135 to 140 million light-years away, in good agreement with redshift-independent distance estimates of 80 to 160 million light-years. Given that and its apparent size of about 6.8 by 5.4 arcmin (from the images below), it is 270 to 275 thousand light-years across. It is listed as a Seyfert galaxy (type Sy 3), and is characterized by unusual spirally arranged filaments extending from its core. These filaments are believed to be associated with infall and subsequent "bubbling" of material caused by a supermassive black hole at the galaxy's center. Their structures are as small as 200 light-years, and are thought to be constrained by magnetic fields created by the black hole's interaction with surrounding material. NGC 4696 is the largest and brightest galaxy in the Centaurus Cluster of galaxies.
? image of region near elliptical galaxy NGC 4696, also showing PGC 43323
Above, a 12 arcmin wide DSS image centered on NGC 4696, also showing PGC 43323
Below, a 7 arcmin wide image of the galaxy (Image Credit & © Carnegie-Irvine Galaxy Survey; used by permission)
Carnegie-Irvine Galaxy Survey image of elliptical galaxy NGC 4696
Below, a ? arcmin wide image of the galaxy (Image Credit ESA/Hubble and NASA)
HST image of part of elliptical galaxy NGC 4696
Below, a 0.85 arcmin wide image of the galaxy's filamentary core (Image Credit NASA, ESA/Hubble, A. Fabian)
HST image of the filamentary core of elliptical galaxy NGC 4696

PGC 43323
Not an NGC object but listed here as a possible companion of
NGC 4696
A magnitude 15.1 spiral galaxy (type Sbc? pec) in Centaurus (RA 12 49 04.1, Dec -41 20 20)
Physical Information: Vr 3470 km/sec, close enough to that of NGC 4696 that it may indeed be in the general neighborhood of NGC 4696. Redshift-independent distance estimates of 85 to 155 million light-years, also about the same as for NGC 4696. Possibly a companion of NGC 4696, especially given the distorted shape of its outer regions; but even if only a member of the Centaurus Cluster, there are many other galaxies that it could have interacted with. Apparent size 1.35 by 0.3 arcmin (from the image below).
DSS image of region near spiral galaxy PGC 43323, also showing NGC 4696
Above, a 12 arcmin wide DSS image centered on PGC 43323, also showing NGC 4696
Below, a 1.5 arcmin wide image of the galaxy (Image Credit & © Carnegie-Irvine Galaxy Survey; used by permission)
Carnegie-Irvine Galaxy Survey image of spiral galaxy PGC 43323

PGC 43120 (= "NGC 4696A")
Not an NGC object but listed here since sometimes called NGC 4696A
A magnitude 13.6 spiral galaxy (type SBb?) in
Centaurus (RA 12 46 55.6, Dec -41 29 49)
Warning About Non-Standard Designations: The use of letters attached to NGC/IC designations often leads to confusion about the object in question, as there is no standard way of applying such letters (e.g., NGC 4696 might well be called NGC 4696A if anyone bothered to use a letter to distinguish it from apparent companions), which can lead to data for one galaxy being incorrectly assigned to a different one. So the use of such lettering should be discouraged, and this entry is only here to serve as such a warning (otherwise, this galaxy would only appear on one of my PGC pages).
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.3 by 0.5 arcmin?

PGC 43155 (= "NGC 4696B")
Not an NGC object but listed here since sometimes called NGC 4696B
A magnitude 11.6 lenticular galaxy (type E/S0?) in
Centaurus (RA 12 47 21.8, Dec -41 14 15)
Warning About Non-Standard Designations: (See the entry for PGC 43120, or "NGC 4696A".)
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.2 by 0.7 arcmin?

PGC 43218 (= "NGC 4696C")
Not an NGC object but listed here since sometimes called NGC 4696C
A magnitude 13.7 spiral galaxy (type Sb?) in
Centaurus (RA 12 48 02.7, Dec -40 49 07)
Warning About Non-Standard Designations: (See the entry for PGC 43120, or "NGC 4696A".)
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.8 by 0.3 arcmin?

PGC 43249 (= "NGC 4696D")
Not an NGC object but listed here since sometimes called NGC 4696D
A magnitude 12.8 lenticular galaxy (type SB0?) in
Centaurus (RA 12 48 21.5, Dec -41 42 52)
Warning About Non-Standard Designations: (See the entry for PGC 43120, or "NGC 4696A".)
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.9 by 0.4 arcmin?

PGC 43262 (= "NGC 4696E")
Not an NGC object but listed here since sometimes called NGC 4696E
A magnitude 13.4 lenticular galaxy (type SB0?) in
Centaurus (RA 12 48 26.2, Dec -40 56 09)
Warning About Non-Standard Designations: (See the entry for PGC 43120, or "NGC 4696A".)
Physical Information: Apparent size 1.8 by 0.7 arcmin?

NGC 4697 (= PGC 43276)
Discovered (Apr 24, 1784) by
William Herschel
Also observed (Apr 16, 1828) by John Herschel
A magnitude 9.2 elliptical galaxy (type E6?) in Virgo (RA 12 48 35.9, Dec -05 48 03)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4697 (= GC 3227 = JH 1436 = WH I 39, 1860 RA 12 41 22, NPD 95 02.2) is "very bright, large, a little extended 45, suddenly much brighter middle and nucleus". The position precesses to RA 12 48 35.7, Dec -05 48 04, dead center on the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: A member of the Virgo cluster of galaxies. Based on a recessional velocity of 1240 km/sec, NGC 4697 is about 58 million light-years away, in good agreement with redshift-independent distance estimates of 30 to 75 million light-years. Given that and its apparent size of 7.2 by 4.7 arcmins, the galaxy is about 120 thousand light-years across.
SDSS image of NGC 4697
Above, an 8 arcmin wide closeup of NGC 4697
Below, an 18 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy
SDSS image of region near NGC 4697

NGC 4698 (= PGC 43254)
Discovered (Jan 18, 1784) by
William Herschel
Also observed (date?) by Arnold Schwassmann
A magnitude 10.6 spiral galaxy (type Sab?) in Virgo (RA 12 48 22.9, Dec +08 29 15)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4698 (= GC 3228 = WH I = WH III 6, 1860 RA 12 41 28, NPD 80 44.9) is "considerably bright, pretty large, irregularly round, brighter middle, mottled but not resolved". The second IC lists a corrected RA (per Schwassmann) of 12 41 18. The position precesses to RA 12 48 32.6, Dec +08 29 14, about 2.3 arcmin east of the nucleus of the galaxy listed above, but the description is a reasonable fit and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: Apparent size 4.0 by 2.5 arcmin? Listed as a member (VCC 2070) of the Virgo Cluster.

NGC 4699 (= PGC 43321)
Discovered (Mar 3, 1786) by
William Herschel
Also observed (Mar 16, 1828) by John Herschel
A magnitude 9.5 spiral galaxy (type SBb?) in Virgo (RA 12 49 02.2, Dec -08 39 52)
Historical Identification: Per Dreyer, NGC 4699 (= GC 3229 = JH 1437 = JH 3425 = WH I 129, 1860 RA 12 41 47, NPD 97 54.1) is "very bright, round, very much brighter middle and mottled but not resolved nucleus, mottled but not resolved". The position precesses to RA 12 49 02.7, Dec -08 39 57, dead center on the galaxy listed above, the description fits and there is nothing else nearby, so the identification is certain.
Physical Information: 3.8 by 2.8 arcmin apparent size?
NOAO image of spiral galaxy NGC 4699
Above, a 4 arcmin view of NGC 4699 (Image Credits: Michael Vogel/Robert Mitsch/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF)
Below, a 12 arcmin wide region centered on the galaxy (Superposition of NOAO image on SDSS background)
NOAO image of spiral galaxy NGC 4699, overlaid on an SDSS image of region near the galaxy
Celestial Atlas
(NGC 4600 - 4649) ←NGC Objects: NGC 4650 - 4699→ (NGC 4700 - 4749)