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Full database:

Entire DOCdb database of 18,816 objects.



NGC 3368 (7,201 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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Messier 96

NGC 3368, LEDA 32192, MCG+02-28-006, UGC 5882, Messier 96, h 749, GC 2194

RA: 10h 46m 45.78s
Dec: +11° 49′ 10.2″

Con: Leo
Ch: MSA:730, U2:190, SA:13


(reference key)

Type: galaxy (in group), Sab

Mag: B=10, V=?

Size: 7.762′ x 5.248′
PA: 5°

Historical observations

William Herschel (c.1784)

In the Appendix to the 1912 'Scientific Papers of Sir William Herschel' this object is described as "1784, March 11. A fine, bright nebula, much like the former, but the brightest part in the middle is more joined to the nebulosity than in the former, and the bright part is rather longer, tho' not quite so vivid as in the former. It may still be called cometic, tho' it begins to depart a little from that kind."

Published comments

Doig, P. (1925)

Doig, P. (1925) Notes on the nebulae and clusters in Webb's 'Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes' (Sixth edition, Vol.ii). Part II. M.N.R.A.S., 35(8), 280.

Sandage & Tammann (1975)

Sandage, A. & Tammann, G. A. (1975) Steps toward the Hubble constant. V - The Hubble constant from nearby galaxies and the regularity of the local velocity field. ApJ, 196, 313-328. [1975ApJ...196..313S]

(1975, Astrophysical Journal, 196, 313-328) includes this galaxy in the Leo Group. Members include NGC 3338, NGC 3351, NGC 3368, NGC 3377, NGC 3379, NGC 3384, NGC 3389, NGC 3412, NGC 3489, NGC 3593, NGC 3596, NGC 3605, NGC 3607, NGC 3608, NGC 3623, NGC 3626, NGC 3627, NGC 3628, NGC 3686 & NGC 3810.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

(Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 10.5 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads S,B,SLEL,HISBCT, BDDIFOUTER SSTR FORMS RG,DKLNS.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975) M96 Group

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975) Nearby groups of galaxies. In: Kuiper, G. (ed) Stars and Stellar Systems. Volume 9: Galaxies and the Universe. Chapter 14, p557.

This is the major condensation in the Leo I cloud; it is centred on a dense core (3°x1.5°) including NGC 3351 (M95), NGC 3368 (M96), 3377 3377A 3379 3384 and NGC 3412.

Sandage, A. (1961) The Hubble Atlas of Galaxies

This galaxy appears on page 12 of "The Hubble Atlas of Galaxies" by Allan Sandage (1961, Washington, DC).

Modern observations

Walter Scott Houston

writes: "They [M95 and M96] are not breathtaking to say the least, and for small telescope users a good description is that they are bright enough to see . . . M96 is easier to spot than M95. It is about magnitude 9.1 and visible in finders and binoculars. , It is about 4' long and slightly oval in appearance."

Hartung, E.J. (1968) Astron.Obj.South.Tel

Notes: "10.5cm shows it quite plainly. Large instruments disclose a fine elliptical spiral 11' x 8' in pa 150 deg, of which I see with 30cm the brighter inner region 3' x 2'. It is a conspicuous nebula rising greatly in brightness to the centre."

Tom Lorenzin

Lorenzin, in the electronic version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "10M; 6' x 4' extent; NE-SW-oriented oblong with very bright center and non-stellar nucleus; very faint mottling apparent with persistent scrutiny !good supernova prospect! see photo at HAG-12."

Ware, Donald J

:"This galaxy is ovoid, 4'x3', extended north-south with a bright core. Its core is large and non-stellar, about 1' in diameter."

Brian Skiff

= M96

T&B: 7cm * off NW V=13.1.

7x35mm - mod f, circ, concen to sub*ar nuc. BS, 29Apr1992, TSP.

7cm - about same size as M95, but distinctly brtr @ 30x. 75x: vconsp *ar nuc

in vbr oval core. f * off halo NW; halo smoothly textured. BS,

12Apr1992, Anderson Mesa.

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf

1997 March 15

1997 March 15. Jonkershoek. 11x80 tripod mounted. No moon. Looking north - light pollution. With attention, seen as round glow. Sky bad!

Magda Streicher

(no date)

Alldays (22.50S, 20.12E, 770m).

12-inch f/10 SCT (218x, 346x)

Pretty large, bright and a little irregular, and less than a degree from M95. Faint stars curling around the galaxy to the northwest. A very sudden bright nucleus, with grainy structure, and more round than M95.

Richard Ford

2009 January 25, 01:45 SAST


12-inch f5 (EP: 26mm SW, 20mm UW, 7mm UW)

Conditions: The most clear sky possible. Dark moon and stars magnitude 6 and fainter are visible with the naked eye. Excellent clean sky, limited star flickering and brilliant objects. Limiting Magnitude: 6.2.

Spiral Galaxy located in Leo. Bright, well defined. Fairly low surface brightness. This galaxy has a bright oval shape with the inner regions of the nucleus slightly brighter than M95.The nucleus of this galaxy is well uniformed with a bright central structure.

Tom Bryant

2007-03-18 10:30:00

Observing site: Pinnacles overlook

Telescope: C-8

[10h 46m 48s, 11 49m 0s] Bright nucleus, faint disk

Favourite lists

Lacaille's catalogue

The Messier objects

Dunlop's catalogue

The Bennett objects

The Caldwell list

Named DSOs

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