Thursday, May 13 1999

Peter Chapin wrote:

Just thought I would share with you folks a little info on an observing session I had this evening by myself...

As has become traditional for me at this time of year, I observed galaxies in Leo. I mostly worked the area around Gamma Leonis, checking out the following NGC objects: 2903, 3190, 3193, 3226, 3227, 3301, and finally 3344 in Leo Minor. I saw a majority of these galaxies but I only got "possible" sightings on NGC-3226 and NGC-3301.

Probably the most spectacular galaxy of the group was NGC-2903. It was large, bright, and obvious. It was also fairly easy to see. In pictures it shows a very complex structure (spiral) but I didn't see any of that in my 3" scope.

Just before going outside I reviewed the area in Burnham's "Celestial Handbook." In that book was a picture of the NGC-3190/NGC-3193 area. There are actually quite a few galaxies there. My star atlas shows four. It turned out to be a good thing that I reviewed that photograph before going outside. NGC-3190 (the brightest galaxy in the group) was not particularly bright in my 3" instrument. NGC-3193 is quite close to a significant star and would have been totally missed by me if I hadn't been expecting to see it there.

A more interesting area was that of NGC-3227/NGC-3226. My atlas shows these galaxies practically on top of each other. When I viewed the area in my 'scope I saw one galaxy pretty easily. I looked around for the other one, but could not see it for certain. I found a number of "possibles" but nothing conclusive. However, it sometimes appeared that NGC-3227 looked "double." I'm wondering if perhaps NGC-3226 is actually involved with NGC-3227 somehow. I would be interested in checking this area out with the LX10 sometime.

That's about it. I was out for around an hour. The sky was great. Very dark.

Peter C.

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