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Astronomical Observatory: Cool Images

Astr111 Photography Projects, Spring 2007

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M96 Spiral Galaxy (NGC 3368), David Haarmann

M96 is the brightest galaxy in the Leo I group of galaxies, and thus the group is also called the M96 group. It was first discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781, and was included in the Messier catalog four days after its discovery. A spiral galaxy is a type of galaxy which has a nuclear bulge, a halo, a disk, and spiral arms. The stars in the disk are classified by age, young stars are population I, and old stars are population II.

This photo of M96 gives a good impression of the spiral galaxy, and clearly shows the central bar (the width of which is approximately 22,000 light years) and the protruding arms coming off from the bar. The disk of the galaxy can be seen clearly as well. M96 is approximately 38,000,000 light years from Earth and is comprised of mostly medium temperature stars somewhat like our Sun (about 5000K).

References:
"Galaxies."

<http://messier.obspm.fr/galaxy.html>.

Students for the Exploration and Development of Space

<http://seds.org/messier/m/m096.html>

"Voyages to the Stars and Galaxies"

Franknoi, Andrew

Morrison, David

Wolff, Sidney

Right Ascension (J2000) 10:46:45.20
Declination (J2000) +11:49:16.0
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter

1x300 seconds in B

1x300 seconds in Clear

1x300 seconds in R

1x300 seconds in V

Date observed

March 15, 2007 (C)

March 15, 2007 (BVR)

 

 

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