FUZZY SPOT,  April 2003, Leo Minor

Leo Minor is a small faint constellation situated between Leo and Ursa Major.  Beta (at magnitude 4.21) is the only star in the constellation with a Bayer designation.  Interestingly, this isn't the brightest star, 46 has a magnitude of 3.79.

We have moved away from the Milky Way, so all of the objects here are galaxies.  Most are faint fuzzies, but there are a couple of nice ones if you take the time to study them.  All of these observations are from my 10" F4.5 scope.

        NGC 3245 (10 27.3 +28 30) At 100X, this galaxy is somewhat small, pretty bright, contains a very much brighter middle and a non-stellar nucleus.  Using averted vision helps bring out the halo.  There may be a slight N/S elongation, but it is hard to tell.

        NGC 3254 (10 29.3 +29 30)  This is a nice edge on galaxy.  Observed at 100x, it is  somewhat big, pretty faint, slightly brighter in the middle, and contains an occasional nucleus which is more certainly seen with averted vision. It is very elongated NW/SE.  To the N is a bright star which somewhat interferes with the viewing.

        NGC 3277 (10 32.9 +28 31)  This galaxy is pretty faint, pretty small, round, and a little brighter in the middle. There is a star or stellaring to the W.  Using averted vision only helps slightly.

        NGC 3344 (10 43.5 +24 55)  This galaxy is interesting because of the stars involved.  It is pretty large, somewhat bright, with a possible nucleus seen to the W of the involved stars.  There are 2 stars involved are on the E side of the galaxy.  It is very difficult to tell if there is any elongation because of the stars, but it is possibly elongated E/W.  Using averted vision shows some possible mottling.

        NGC 3395/3396 (10 49.8 +32 59)  Here we have a nice pair of interacting galaxies.  3395 is the brighter of the two.  It is pretty small, pretty faint, brighter in the middle with no nucleus seen, and elongated N/S.  It is almost touching 3396, the two galaxies forms sort of an L shape.  3396 is a little bit smaller and fainter than 3395.  It is brighter in the middle with a nucleus that comes and goes.  The elongation on this galaxy is E/W.  Using averted vision helps bring out the galaxies.

        NGC 3432 (10 52.5 +36 37)  The last galaxy of the month is a beautiful edge on galaxy.  It is large, a little faint, and extremely elongated ENE/WSW.  There are 3 to 4 stars involved, on the W is 2 stars and on the E not quite at the galaxies end is another star and possibly 2.  The brightness of the galaxy is pretty even with no brightening towards middle.  There may possibly be some mottling.  It is a real nice galaxy with the stars involved.

Herschel 400 Objects
2859, 3245, 3277, 3294, 3344, 3395, 3414, 3432, 3486, 3504
SAC’s 110 Best of the NGC Objects
3344, 3432


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