NGC 2903 is a fine object for a small telescope. It would have been a worthy member of Messierâ€™s catalogue, compared with the other entries from the constellation of Leo. This spiral galaxy lies 20 million l-y away. Locating NGC 2903 is simple : it can be found at 1.5Â° south of Lambda Leonis, near the nose of the Lion. From my light polluted backyard, the galaxyâ€™s core and stellar nucleus are the first features that show up. The core appears elongated in pa 15Â°. The galaxy might disappoint you at first and look rather small. With patience and averted vision, the faint but large halo starts to light up against the background glow. The galaxy seems to grow in the eyepiece, when you take the time to make a sketch.
Site : Bekkevoort, Belgium ( 51Â° N )
Date : March 21, 2009
Time : around 21.00 UT
Scope : Skywatcher 102/500mm achromatic refractor
Eyepiece : Baader Hyperion Zoom at 8mm
Magnifiction : 63x
Filter : none
Seeing : 3/5
Transp. : 2/5
Sky brightness : 19.42 magnitudes per square arc second near zenith (SQM reading).
Sketch Orientation: N up, W right.
Digital sketch made with Corel Paint Shop Pro X2, based on a raw pencil sketch.