Date: Feb. 27-28, 2014 - Location: Denton, TX Telescope: ATRC12 Mount: MI-250 Camera: ST-10XME Filters: Astrodon L,R,G,B
L = 120 min. (Bin 1x1) - R, G & B = 40 min. each (Bin 2x2) Click on the image below to view at higher resolution.
Discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781.
M96 (NGC 3368) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Leo the Lion. It is a member of the M96 Galaxy Group which includes two other Messier objects. (M95 & M105) The galaxy lies approximately 31 million light-years from the Earth. The galaxy appears almost face on but is actually inclined about 53 degrees to our line of sight. The galaxy has a complex physical structure and is classified as a double-barred spiral with an inner bulge through the core along with an outer bulge. The arms of the galaxy are somewhat asymmetric and are displaced from the core. It is speculated that gravitational pull by other galaxies in the Leo Group deformed M96’s spiral arms.