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What's Up Leo Minor


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What’s Up

What's Up Leo Minor
By Steve Coe

Leo Minor is one of those constellations that a new astronomer would observe and say "THAT is a constellation?". It is small and the stars are faint. But, there are some nice galaxies in this part of the sky, so it is worth a look. I enjoy reminding myself that I am looking across about 50 million light years to see these galaxies float in the Universe.

NGC 3245 GALXY 10 27.3 +28 30 10.8 3.5 m SO
NGC 3344 GALXY 10 43.5 +24 55 9.9 7.1 m SBbc
NGC 3413 GALXY 10 51.3 +32 46 12.1 1.8 m SO
NGC 3424 GALXY 10 51.8 +32 54 12.4 2.7 m SBb
NGC 3430 GALXY 10 52.2 +32 57 11.6 4.1 m SBc
NGC 3432 GALXY 10 52.5 +36 37 11.3 6.6 m SB
NGC 3486 GALXY 11 00.4 +28 59 10.5 6.8 m SBc


NGC 3254, in a 13 inch f/5.6 Newtonian it is pretty faint, pretty large and much brighter in the middle. But this galaxy still shows a low surface brightness at 135X. It is much elongated 4X1 in PA 45.





NGC 3344 is bright, pretty large, round, brighter in the middle with a stellar nucleus and somewhat mottled at 135X. Averted vision makes it double in size. There are 3 stars involved, one pretty faint and near the core to the NE. Two are pretty bright, about 10th magnitude, to the east of the core. All three stars seen in the Vickers atlas, so there is no supernova tonight!








NGC 3413 appears pretty faint, pretty small, not much brighter in the middle and elongated 2 X 1 in PA 0. This is the first of three edge-on galaxies in one field of view: NGC 3413, 3424, 3430.




NGC 3424 is pretty bright, pretty large and has a brighter middle with a stellar nucleus at 135X. It is very elongated (3 X 1) in PA 110.










NGC 3430 looks pretty bright, pretty large, somewhat brighter in the middle and very elongated (3 X 1) in PA 35.









NGC 3432 is pretty bright, pretty large and much elongated 3 X 1 in PA 45. It shows mottled arms and there is a double star on the SW edge at 135X. On a great night far from the lights of Phoenix, Arizona, I saw a nice double star involved on the south end and another star of 11th magnitude is just to the east of the core.






NGC 3486 looks pretty bright, pretty large, little elongated 1.2 X 1 in PA 75 and much brighter in the middle with an occasional stellar nucleus at 135X on a night I rated 6/10 for seeing and transparency.




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