Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Messier 96 Group - Leo 1 Group

The Messier 96 or M96 Group (also known as the Leo I Group) is a group of galaxies in the constellation Leo. The group contains three Messier objects M95, M96, and M105 which are shown on the wide field image and a number of other galaxies depending on your field of view (24 total is the high number).  The group is one of many groups that lies within the Virgo Supercluster (i.e. the Local Supercluster). (source: wikipedia)

M95 or NGC 3351 is a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Leo and is approximately 38 million light-years away.  Interestingly, a supernova discovered in M95 on 16 March 2012. (source: wikipedia)

M96 or NGC 3368 is spiral galaxy about the same size and mass of the Milky Way and approximately 35 million light-years away in the constellation Leo.  Variations in ultraviolet emission from the core indicate there may be a supermassive black hole in the center.  Also, a supernova was observed in this galaxy on May 9, 1998. (source: wikipedia)

M105 or NGC 3379 is a elliptical galaxy in the constellation Leo.  It is approximately 37.9 million light years away with a diameter of 55,000 light years. Its the brightest elliptical galaxy in the Leo I group of galaxies and has an estimated mass of 100 billion solar masses. (source: astropixels)

This was captured last week during that cold but clear weather window.  I was not planning to image this but it was visible while I was waiting for other objects to become visible from my location. I was very happy since this was 3 Messier's for the price of 1.  If they were all like this I would be done shooting the Messier Objects by now.  New website:
Wide Field



M105, NGC 3384, NGC 3389

M95, M96, M105
Location: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, CT
Date: 3-19-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm
f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo Telescope Mount
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 42 x 90s (63 min)
ISO: 1600
Temp: -2.0 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools, StarTools.


  1. Excellent job Kurt! Way to knock off a few more Messier objects on your list. How many have you photographed? Cheers!

  2. Thanks Trevor. I always appreciate your comments. I have photographed 67 Messier objects so far. I actually have a couple of more imaged but I have not processed them yet.