NGC 278

Alt. Designations: NGC 278
Object Type: barred spiral galaxy
Constellation: Cassiopeia
Distance: 26 mly
Right Ascension: 00h 52m 04.5s
Declination: +47° 33´ 03"
Visual Magnitude: 10.7
Apparent Dimension: 2.1´ X 2.0´
Best Month To View: Oct

This is an odd looking, obscure little galaxy whose primary claim to fame is its appearance in a photograph in Burnham's, although nothing is written about it. In a wide field eyepiece it looks like a tiny round smudge near a distinct grouping of stars. What makes this object interesting in the eyepiece is that galaxies this small don't typically have such a high surface brightness; for this reason its appearance is more like that of a planetary nebula. Even at high magnification it appears more like a planetary than a galaxy, complete with a central star--the tiny nearly-stellar core of the galaxy.