Sky Object of the Month – April 2017

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Sky Object of the Month – April 2017

(Courtesy LVAS Observer’s Challenge*)

NGC 3395-96 – Interacting Galaxies in Leo Minor (Mags. 12.1/12.2; Sizes 1.9’ X 1.2’/ 2.8’ X 1.2’)

This month’s LVAS Observer’s Challenge is a true challenge. NGC 3395 and NGC 3596 are interacting galaxies (catalogued as Arp 270 in Halton Arp’s Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies) located near the eastern edge of Leo Minor, 1½ degrees SW of the 4th magnitude star 46 Leo Minoris. The first challenge is in seeing them at all. Each galaxy is a 12th magnitude object and will require exceptionally dark skies if you choose to tackle them with a telescope of 6-inch aperture or less. For owners of medium-sized instruments (8 to 12 inches), the challenge is in picking out detail in each. In his “Deep Sky Wonders” column in Sky and Telescope, Walter Scott Houston wondered if the bridge between these galaxies might be picked up in a 30-inch scope. Can it be detected in a scope half that size? The challenge is yours!

NGC 3395 and NGC 3396 were discovered by William Herschel on December 7, 1785. Studies indicate a distance of anywhere from 72 to 85 million light year

Glenn Chaple for the LVAS



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