Galaxy NGC 5248

NGC 5248
NGC 5248: Image taken with Hubble Space Telescope. © ESA/Hubble & NASA [261]


The galaxy was discovered by William Herschel on 15 April 1784. He cataloged it as I 34. He described it as «very bright, considerably large, extended north preceding south following, small bright nucleus.» [464] Herschels son John cataloged it as h 1650 in his Slough catalogue from 1833. [466]. William Parsons, the 3rd Earl of Rosse, used John Herschels catalogue to observe the objects with his giant «Leviathan of Parsonstown» reflecting telescope with six feet mirror diameter. He observed the galaxy in 1855 and recognized its spiral structure. [486] Later the galaxy was included by Danish-Irish astronomer Johann Louis Emil Dreyer as NGC 5248 in his «New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars», released in 1888. [313]

NGC 5248
NGC 5248: Galaxy in Bootes; 500/2500mm Newton + SBIG ST-6; Observatory Bülach; © 8. 2. 1997 Stefan Meister

Physical Properties

According to NED, the galaxy is of the de Vaucouleurs morphological type, an extension of the Hubble classification: SAB(rs)bc. SAB = intermediate form from a spiral galaxy to a barred spiral, (rs) = transition to ring structure, bc = degree of opening of the spiral arms. Our own Milky Way is of the same type. [194]

On Simbad one finds distance measurements from 10.8 to 20.8 Mpc (35.2 to 67.8 million light years) and heliocentric velocities from 1109 km/s to 1189 km/s. [145]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC Version 22/9, © 2022 Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
Designation NGC 5248
Type Gx (SBbc)
Right Ascension (J2000.0) 13h 37m 32.0s
Declination (J2000.0) +08° 53' 10"
Diameter 6.2 × 4.5 arcmin
Photographic (blue) magnitude 11.0 mag
Visual magnitude 10.3 mag
Surface brightness 13.8 mag·arcmin-2
Position Angle 122°
Redshift (z) 0.003839
Distance derived from z 16.22 Mpc
Metric Distance 19.200 Mpc
Identification, Remarks WH I 34; h 1650; GC 3615; UGC 8616; MCG 2-35-15; CGCG 73-54; IRAS 13350+0908

Finder Chart

The galaxy NGC 5248 is located in the IAU region of the constellation Bootes between the figures of the constellations Bootes and Virgo, about halfway between the two stars υ Boötis and Heze (ζ Virginis). The 7 mag bright variable FP Virginis shows you the way here. The best viewing time is December to September.

Finder Chart Galaxy NGC 5248
Galaxy NGC 5248 in constellation Bootes. Charts created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. Limiting magnitudes: Constellation chart ~6.5 mag, DSS2 close-ups ~20 mag. [149, 160]

Visual Observation

400 mm Aperture: In the 21 mm Ethos eyepiece (85x) the galaxy appears as an oval diffuse spot with a bright core. In the 9 mm Nagler eyepiece (200x) the two spiral arms are visible with averted vision. Now and then the small star next to the centre flashes. — 400 mm f/4.5 Taurus Dobsonian, Glaubenberg, SQM 21.27, a bit windy, Sahara dust and hazy, 21. 5. 2022, 23:15, Bernd Nies

Objects Within a Radius of 15°


  • [145] SIMBAD astronomical database;
  • [149] SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
  • [160] The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
  • [194] NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED); (2020-12-27)
  • [261] Explore - The Night Sky | Hubble’s Caldwell Catalog; (2021-02-08)
  • [277] «Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)
  • [313] «A New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars, being the Catalogue of the late Sir John F.W. Herschel, Bart., revised, corrected, and enlarged» Dreyer, J. L. E. (1888); Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society. 49: 1–237; Bibcode:1888MmRAS..49....1D
  • [464] «Catalogue of a second thousand of new nebulae and clusters of stars; with a few introductory remarks on the construction of the heavens» William Herschel, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1 January 1789; DOI:10.1098/rstl.1789.0021
  • [466] «Observations of nebulæ and clusters of stars, made at Slough, with a twenty-feet reflector, between the years 1825 and 1833» John Frederick William Herschel, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1 January 1833, Pages: 359-505; DOI:10.1098/rstl.1833.0021
  • [486] «On the construction of specula of six-feet aperture; and a selection from the observations of nebulæ made with them» William Parsons; Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Volume 151, published 1 January 1861; DOI:10.1098/rstl.1861.0029