Merging Galaxies are fascinating to me and there are several at different stages that are observable and that can be sketched from now through next spring. There are plenty of others that you can find from this 2008 Hubble Telescope Press Release. So if your interested in taking up this challenge, I think it would be awesome to show a gallery of sketches of these objects. I'm looking forward to redoing these objects. I will be looking for more merging galaxies that are visible from the northern hemisphere to add to this short list. Know some that aren't here? Please let me know.
EDIT: Since many of the galaxies that I am coming up with are ARP galaxies, I thought I would share a link to the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies by Halton Arp who gave permission for it to be published on the California Institute of Technology Website. You can go to the upper left of the website and download the actual book as well. Not as good as holding the book, but it works. I know I have been working Arp's with the 20 inch scope when I'm down south but I'll be excited to see what the 14 inch dob can do when it gets its Zambuto mirror into it.
1. The first one is NGC 4038 and NGC 4039 called the Antennae Galaxies in Corvus. I sketched them this year in the winter but this year I'll have my much improved mirror from Carl Z. So I am going to do them again. Here's the wikispaces article on them:
2. NGC 2207 and IC 2163. Unlike NGC 4038 & 4039 and NGC 4676 A & B these two galaxies are still separated and are in the process of beginning to merge. This would be another winter image or sketch. Here is the Wiki Link.
Hubble Image of this pair:
3. The Mice or NGC 4676A & B are in Coma Berernices which is a spring object and are in the process of merging but not as far as NGC 4038 & 4039. Here is the Wiki Link.
4. NGC 7318 Stephan's Quintet which is a fall object and all four galaxies (well five) are in the process of merging. Here is the Wiki Link.
5. ARP 299 or NGC 3960 and IC 694 are two galaxies in Ursa Major that are merging. This would be a spring image as well for best location. However unlike most of the others, these are barred irregular galaxies that are colliding.
Here is the Wiki Link.
Image taken from this Hubble Telescope site by NASA.
So this will be a longer term project, say the next six months but well worth it I think when we are done. If you know of other good galaxy mergers that can be added, leave a comment so we can add them. Please leave the object identification, the constellation and the best season for observing them. I'll also add some finder charts to this post for these items and any others that are posted in the comments.
Edit: I am already up to about 12 merging galaxies that should range from easy to challenging for visual observers. I am hoping to make a nice seasonal list of these objects in Excel and then post them here in the next week.