Messier 95 & Messier 96 with STL-4020M camera                  Click on photo to return to 'Galaxies'                          Home
 

M95   NGC3351   ( lower right )

Dreyer description: Bright, large, round, pretty gradually much brighter middle nucleus; = M95.
Magnitude: 10.7
RA: 10h 43m 58.0s  Dec: +11°42'15"  (Epoch 2000)
Azm: 223°13'30"  Alt: +55°15'45"
Rise: 14:01  Transit: 20:42  Set: 03:27
Size: 7.4' x 5.0'

SED'S description;
Messier 95
Spiral Galaxy M95 (NGC 3351), type SBb, in Leo

Right Ascension
10 : 44.0 (h:m)

Declination
+11 : 42 (deg:m)

Distance
38000 (kly)

Visual Brightness
9.7 (mag)

Apparent Dimension
4.4x3.3 (arc min)


Discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781.
Messier 95 (M95, NGC 3351) is a beautiful barred spiral galaxy situated in constellation Leo, and one of the fainter Messier Objects.
Pierre Méchain discovered M95, together with M96, March 20, 1781. Consequently, Charles Messier included it in his catalog on March 24, 1781.
M95 is a barred spiral of type SBb, or SB(r)ab according to de Vaucouleurs' classification, with nearly circular arms. Alan Sandage, in the Hubble Atlas of Galaxies, calls it a "typical ringed galaxy". Its overall appearance is quite similar to M91 except that M95 has more pronounced spiral structure.
M95 is a member of the Leo I or M96 group, which also contains M96, M105 and a number of fainter galaxies.
Barred spiral galaxy M95 was one of the galaxies in the key project of the Hubble Space Telescope for the determination of the Hubble constant: the HST was employed to look for Cepheid variables and thereby determine this galaxy's distance. A preliminary result has been obtained and published in 1996-97 by the HST H0 Key Project Team (paper VII, 1997). Their result, corrected for the semi-recent adjustment of the Cepheid brightness zero point by ESA's Hipparcos astrometrical satellite, is a distance of 35.5+-3.1 million light years. This is in semi-good agreement with the value of about 41 million light years (after correction for Hipparcos results) which had been obtained earlier by ~nrt/"Nial R. Tanvir for its neighbor M96, and implies a distance of all the galaxies in the Leo I group of about 38 million light years.


M96   NGC3368   ( lower left )

Dreyer description: Very bright, very large, little extended, very abruptly very much brighter middle, resolvable, but mottled; = M96.
Magnitude:  9.9
RA: 10h 46m 45.2s  Dec: +11°49'16"  (Epoch 2000)
Azm: 227°37'39"  Alt: +53°40'03"
Rise: 14:03  Transit: 20:44  Set: 03:30
Size: 7.5' x 5.2'

SEDS description;
Messier 96
Spiral Galaxy M96 (NGC 3368), type Sa, in Leo

Right Ascension
10 : 46.8 (h:m)

Declination
+11 : 49 (deg:m)

Distance
38000 (kly)

Visual Brightness
9.2 (mag)

Apparent Dimension
6x4 (arc min)


Discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781.
Messier 96 (M96, NGC 3368) is a conspicuous spiral galaxy in constellation Leo.
M96 is the brightest member of the Leo I group of galaxies, which is therefore also called the M96 group, and also includes M95, M105 as well as a number of fainter galaxies.
Pierre Méchain discovered M96, together with M95, on March 20, 1781. Consequently, Charles Messier included it in his catalog on March 24, 1781. It was among the first spirals that have been discovered, and listed by Lord Rosse as one of 14 "spiral nebulae" discovered to 1850.
Its distance was determined to be about 41 million light years (after corrections for the distance scale which are implied by the results of ESA's Hipparcos satellite) by ~nrt/"Nial R. Tanvir with the Hubble Space Telescope by observing Cepheid variables. Interpolated with the HST result of 35.5 million light years for its neighbor M95, we adopt a value of 38 million light years here for the whole group.
At this distance, the apparent diameter of its brighter central region, 6 arc minutes, corresponds to a linear dimension of 66,000 light years. However, as can be seen e.g. in the Digital Sky Survey image, or the Hubble Atlas of Galaxies, this galaxy has faint extensions, an outer ring of filaments (spiral arm fragments), which are connected to the bright visible part near the northwest end of the major axis. This ring has a diameter of at least about 9 arc minutes in the DSS image, corresponding to about 100,000 light years.
The apparent visual brightness of 9.2 magnitudes corresponds to an absolute magnitude of -21.1.
According to J.D. Wray's Color Atlas of Galaxies, the bright inner disk is composed of a smooth yellow stellar population of old stars, which ends slightly beyond a ring of blue knots. These knots are probably clusters of young, hot stars. As visible in our image, this galaxy contains a significant amount of dust, which is apparently more concentrated on the left side in our image. It is common that dust appears with greater contrast on the near side of a galaxy than on the far side, so this asymmetry indicates that the near side of M96 is on the left in our image.
G. de Vaucouleurs has determined that M96 is inclined by 35 degrees to our line of sight, and that it rotates with the spiral arms trailing.
A bright supernova, SN 1998bu, was discovered by Mirko Villi on May 9, 1998 at 13th magnitude and was quickly brightening to 11.8 mag.



Photo Specifications:

     TELESCOPE:  80 mm Celestron APO  F/8
            CAMERA:  'SBIG'  STL-4020M & Baader Filters
CAMERA TEMP:  Temp. = -26 C
                   DATE: 02/19/09-03/19/09

Filter
Total
Exposure  time
Sub-frame
 Exposure time
Number  of Sub-frames
Binning
Luminance
2 hr
1800 & 900 sec
5
1x1
Red
2 hr
1800 & 900 sec
5
1x1
Green
2 hr
1800 & 900 sec
5
1x1
Blue
2 hr
1800 & 900 sec
5
1x1
Other









Processing:    MaxIm DL  v4.62; Acquire data, calibrate,  color combine; CCDstack align;  Photoshop CS2