M95 = NGC3351 ( 10h 44.0m +1142, 9.7 mag. )

This impressive barred spiral galaxy in Leo was discovered by Mechain in March 1781 and Messier observed it on the 24th of that month. It displays a bright ring connecting both ends of the bar and faint spiral arms protruding outside of it. M95 is about 26.5 million ly distant and belongs to a small Leo Group of Galaxies including nearby M96 and M105 (and their NGC companions) as well as more distant M65, M66 and NGC3628. M95 can be spotted 145' NW of 53 Leonis (see finder chart below).

The above image was taken on April 7, 2002 from Harrowsmith, Ontario. Cookbook 245 LDC CCD camera was used on Celestron Ultima 8 f6.3 telescope autoguided with Cookbook 211 LDC camera on a piggybacked 500mm f8 telephoto lens. It is composed of twenty white images (240 sec. each) as well as cyan, magenta and yellow-filtered exposures (5 x 240 sec. each) processed with AIP4WIN and Corel PhotoPaint 8 software (in Lab color space).

North is to the left.

Map created in Guide 7.0 - 745' x 745'. North is up.

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Jan Wisniewski