LEO
by Steve Coe
using 13" f/5.6 unless noted


NGC 2903 is one of the best non-Messier galaxies. It is easy in 10x50 binocs or a large finder scope. At 175X in the 12.5" f/6 this galaxy is bright and is mottled across the face with a much brighter core. There is a bright spot about 4 arc minutes from the core.
Sentinel 13" 8/10--just seen in 11X80. 150X--bright, very large, much elongated 2X1 PA 20, much brighter middle, elongated nucleus, very mottled. 220X--central elongated section is very obvious.

18" f/4.5 TSP bright, large, BM, no stellar nucleus, mottling especially in most prominent arm. Raising power with 9mm, shows more mottling in arms and stellar core 10% of time.

36" f/5 TSP 96 14mm Meade UWA Most of the field at this power, the north side has two bright knots, one right where the arm turns and the other is closer to the nucleus. Two arms from the north side and one arm off the south side. Somewhat mottled with aviz.

NGC 2911 Faint, pretty large, little elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 0,
gradually brighter in the middle at 150X. NGC 2914 in the field.

NGC 2964 Pretty bright, pretty large, much brighter middle with an occasionally stellar nucleus, elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 90.

NGC 2968 Pretty bright, pretty small, somewhat brighter in the middle, elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 75 at 220X.

NGC 2970 Very, very faint, very small, round, averted vision only.

NGC 3032 Very faint, small, bright middle, little elongated 1.2 X 1 in PA 100, it is between 2 stars of 11th magnitude at 150X.

NGC 3041 Pretty faint, large, irregularly round, very gradually little brighter in the middle at 150X. This very mottled galaxy has an 11th mag star involved on the south side and two other 13th mag star involved in the galaxy.

NGC 3067 Pretty faint, pretty small, elongated 2 X 1 in PA 90, gradually pretty much brighter in the middle at 150X.

NGC 3098 Pretty faint, small, elongated 2 X 1 in PA 90, pretty suddenly brighter in the middle with an almost stellar nucleus at 150X. This galaxy is quite lens shaped.

NGC 3162 Pretty bright, pretty large, round, very gradually brighter middle. This mottled galaxy has a 12th mag star on its' eastern edge.

NGC 3177 Pretty faint, pretty small, round, bright nucleus.

NGC 3190 is the brightest galaxy in a group that includes four other NGC galaxies. There is a good photo of the field in Burnham's. All 4 gals fit in a one degree field of view. All these observations were made with a 12.5" f/6 at 120X.

NGC 3185 is pretty faint, elongated and has a somewhat brighter middle. 36"--barred spiral structure obvious, arms come out more with averted vision, with 20mm Nagler.
NGC 3187 is very faint and elongated.

NGC 3190 is pretty bright, round and has a very bright middle, there is a hint of a dark lane during moments of good seeing. 3187 and 3190 are at about 30 degree angles to one another and 3190 has a very bright core.

NGC 3193 Pretty bright, pretty small, round, much brighter middle with an occasionally stellar nucleus, a 10th mag star is on the North side at 135X.

NGC 3226 and 3227 form a pair 50' east of Gamma Leo. 3227 is pretty bright, considerably elongated and has a pretty bright nucleus that is almost stellar. 3226 is pretty bright, round and has a bright core. These observations are with a 12.5" f/6 at 160X. What is weird about these two galaxies is that they appear to overlap each other even at
high powers! The round galaxy is at one end of the elongated galaxy and it looks like a club with a knot at one end. Don't take my word for it, go look for yourself.

NGC 3274 Faint, pretty large, little elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 120, little brighter in the middle at 150X. There is a double star 5' to the east, it is a 10 and 12 mag pair separated by about 5".

NGC 3287 Pretty faint, pretty large, little brighter in the middle, very elongated 3 X 1 in PA 0 at 150X. There is a blue and yellow double star 10' to the southeast.

NGC 3300 Pretty faint, small, elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 0, somewhat brighter in the middle at 150X.

NGC 3301 Pretty bright, pretty small, elongated 2 X 1 in PA 60, somewhat brighter in the middle with an almost stellar nucleus at 150X. This galaxy is lens shaped.

NGC 3338 Pretty bright, pretty large, elongated 2 X 1 in PA 120, gradually brighter in the middle at 150X. There is an 8th mag star on the NW tip of this galaxy.

NGC 3346 Pretty faint, large, round, very gradually very little brighter in the middle, this is a low surface brightness object at 150X.

NGC 3351 (M 95) is bright, large, round and has a much brighter middle in a 12.5" f/6. Sun Valley Parkway Seeing 5/10, transparency 7/10. 150X bright, large, somewhat elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 0, brighter middle with a stellar nucleus. There is a "Bar" across the middle PA 90 with the nucleus involved. The arms are smooth, not mottled.
Going to 220X does add any detail in arms, but now there are 2 very faint stars, one on the north side, the other SW.

NGC 3368 (M 96) is bright, large, somewhat elongated and has a brighter nucleus in a 12.5" f/6. Sun Valley Parkway 13" 7/10-- 150X, bright, large, somewhat elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 165, suddenly much brighter middle with a stellar nucleus. A little mottled. The bright region in the middle has different PA from entire galaxy.

36" f/5 bright, elongated smooth brightness contour, in that the middle gets much brighter, but it does it at a smooth rate.

M 95 and M 96 is a close grouping near the middle of the Lion. M 95 and M 96 will fit in a wide field eyepiece.

NGC 3367 Pretty bright, large, irregularly round, gradually brighter in the middle at 150X.

NGC 3370 Pretty bright, pretty large, little elongated 1.2 X 1 in PA 165, very gradually brighter middle at 150X.

NGC 3377 Bright, pretty large, much brighter middle with a bright, stellar nucleus, elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 30. This nice galaxy is a little mottled in the outer sections at 135X.

NGC 3379 (M 105) is bright, large, elongated and has a much brighter, almost stellar, core in the 12.5" f/6 at 120X. It has two companions, which are the next two objects. Sun Valley Parkway 13" 7/10--150X, bright, large, round, suddenly much brighter middle with a stellar nucleus, 3 layers of brightness, a little mottled, grows with averted vision.

36" f/5 TSP 96 Bright, large, stellar core in very bright middle, 3 layers of brightness, little mottled, larger with averted vision.

NGC 3384 is pretty faint, Large, somewhat elongated and does not have a brighter middle in the 12.5". Sun Valley Parkway 13" 7/10--150X, Pretty bright, pretty large, much brighter middle, elongated 2.5 X 1 in PA 45.

NGC 3389 is pretty bright, Large, has a brighter middle and is elongated in the same PA as M 105 in the 12.5" f/6 at 120X.
Sun Valley Parkway 13" 7/10--150X, pretty bright, pretty large, not brighter middle, elongated 1.8 X 1 PA 135, pretty low surface brightness.

NGC 3412 Bright, pretty large, elongated 2.5 X 1 in PA 135, very bright in the middle with stellar nucleus at 135X. This galaxy is somewhat mottled.

NGC 3433 Very faint, large, round, very gradually very little brighter in the middle at 150X. This is a low surface brightness galaxy that is a large, dim glow.

NGC 3437 Pretty bright, pretty small, elongated 2 X 1 in PA 120, bright middle at 150X.

NGC 3455 Pretty faint, pretty small, much elongated 2.5 X 1 in PA 90, gradually brighter middle. NGC 3454 in is the field to the north.

NGC 3485 Faint, pretty small, round, gradually little brighter middle at 150X.

NGC 3489 Pretty bright, pretty large, elongated 3 X 1 in PA 75, much brighter in the middle with a stellar nucleus at 135X, averted vision makes this galaxy grow in size.

NGC 3495 Pretty faint, large, much elongated 2.5 X 1 in PA 25, suddenly brighter in the middle at 150X. This low surface brightness edge-on galaxy has the star 58 Leonis in the field.

NGC 3506 Pretty faint, small, round, bright middle, compact at 150X.

NGC 3521 Bright, large, elongated 2.5 X 1 in PA 135, brighter in the middle at 100X. Sun Valley Parkway 13" 7/10--100X, pretty bright, pretty large, much elongated 2.5 X 1 in PA 165, three levels of brightness to core that is two times the size of the stellar disk.
220X--nice view, bright nucleus, bright area to the north of core about one arc minute. Smooth at all powers, not mottled.

Granite Wash Mt. S=6 T=8 13" 100X--Bright, large, very much elongated 4X1 in PA 165, much, much brighter middle with an almost stellar core. Nice galaxy. 220X--core is elongated 2X1 is same PA as galaxy. A bright elongated middle with stellar nucleus.


NGC 3547 Faint, small, little elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 15, very little brighter middle at 150X.

NGC 3593 is pretty bright, pretty large, elongated and has a much brighter middle. What is bizarre about this galaxy is that at 200X in the 12.5", the core is elongated 2X1. I don't remember seeing an elongated nucleus in a galaxy before.

NGC 3596 Pretty faint, pretty large, round, gradually brighter in the middle at 135X.

NGC 3605 Pretty faint, small, round, very little brighter middle, at 150X. South preceding of 3.

NGC 3607 Pretty bright, pretty large, round, much brighter in the middle with a stellar nucleus, somewhat mottled at 135X. Located in a group of three. Burnham's has "very Bright" for 3607, it must be a misprint or an observation by Lord Rosse with the 72".
Buckeye 6/10 same as above and somewhat elongated 1.2X1, PA 120.

NGC 3608 Pretty bright, pretty large, round, bright middle at 100X.
There are two companions in the 30 arc min field of view.

NGC 3611 Pretty faint, small, round, suddenly much brighter middle with an almost stellar nucleus at 150X. There is a 9th mag star about 10' to the northwest.

NGC 3626 Pretty bright, small, elongated 2.5 X 1 in PA 165, much brighter in the middle with an almost stellar nucleus at 135X.

M 65, M 66 and NGC 3628 are within about one degree of each other in the center of Leo.

NGC 3623 (M 65) Bright, Large, much elongated 3 X 1 in PA 175, somewhat brighter in the middle with an almost stellar nucleus at 135X. The outer arms are very mottled.
Dugas Rd. 7/10 150X-- Bright, large, much elongated 3X1, PA 160, gradually much brighter in the middle, core elongated in same PA as galaxy. Several markings are seen in the arms, with an extension to the south, averted vision helps this extension show up better. This nice, bright galaxy is just seen in the 11X80 finder.

NGC 3627 (M 66) is bright, large and elongated 2 X 1 in PA 135, much brighter in the middle, has a stellar nucleus at 220X. The very mottled outer arms have a bar structure in them at 135X.
Sun Valley Parkway 13" 7/10--100X bright, very large, much elongated 3 X 1 in PA 0, much brighter middle with a stellar nucleus. 150X shows an arm to the south, just seen, pretty faint double star on west side. "Bar" in middle of galaxy has a different PA than galaxy, like 220 degrees. Arms are very mottled at 150X and 220X.

36" f/5 20mm Nagler Very mottled, 4 bright HII regions, one above the nucleus and three below are obvious, total galaxy about 80% of the field of view, elongated 1.8 X 1. Spiral
structure is seen right away and is more obvious with aviz. Several small bright spots are in close to the nucleus to NW are probably globular clusters. Averted vision makes the
galaxy about 30% thicker than direct.

NGC 3628 is the most elongated of the three galaxies. It is pretty bright, large and has a somewhat brighter core at 220X. Averted vision will bring out a hint of a dark lane on a sharp, transparent night.
Dugas 13" 7/10--pretty bright, large, much elongated 4X1 in PA 90, pretty low surface brightness, 150X the dark lane is seen with direct vision, better with averted, dark lane is diagonal to the main line of the galaxy. It is a little brighter in the middle.

36" and 20mm diagonal dark lane has several perpendicular dark markings that stick out from the long dark lane. These striations are easier with aviz. 50% thicker with aviz. Central brightening, but no real core. Several bright spots on east side of long dark
marking. Long dark marking does not split it into equal halves, more like 1/3 and 2/3.

NGC 3629 Faint, pretty large, round, very gradually little brighter in the middle, low surface brightness at 150X.

NGC 3630 Pretty faint, small, elongated 1.8 X 1 in PA 20, somewhat brighter middle at 150X.

NGC 3640 Pretty bright, pretty large, little elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 90, much brighter in the middle at 135X. There is a very faint, small, round companion (NGC 3641) which can be seen with averted vision only.

NGC 3646 Pretty bright, pretty large, elongated 1.8 X 1 in PA 45, gradually brighter in the middle at 150X. NGC 3649 is in the field.

NGC 3655 Pretty bright, small, little elongated 1.2 X 1 in PA 30, brighter in the middle, this galaxy is not much at 135X.

NGC 3659 Pretty faint, pretty small, elongated 1.8 X 1 in PA 75, brighter in the middle at 150X.

NGC 3664 Faint, pretty large, round, very little brighter in the middle at 150X.

NGC 3664A Very, very faint, small, round, just barely seen at 150X on a night I rated 5/10 for seeing and transparency.

NGC 3666 Pretty faint, large, much elongated 2.5 X 1 in PA 90, bright middle at 150X. This is a nice edge-on galaxy.

NGC 3681 has several companion galaxies, one of which is 3686. I see four galaxies in a 35' field at 100X in the 12.5". One is pretty bright, pretty large, round and has a much brighter core. I have assumed that is 3681 and centered the drawing on it. The other three
in the field are faint, small and do not have a brighter core.

NGC 3684 Pretty bright, pretty large, elongated 2 X 1 in PA 135, bright middle at 150X. It is somewhat mottled and there are two faint stars involved.

NGC 3686 Pretty faint, pretty large, somewhat brighter in the middle, little elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 0 at 135X. There is a similar galaxy in the field to the south.

NGC 3689 Pretty bright, pretty small, elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 90, bright middle with stellar nucleus at 150X. This is a compact galaxy.

NGC 3691 Faint, pretty small, round, bright middle at 150X. It is in the middle of a line of three galaxies.

NGC 3705 Faint, pretty large, round, somewhat brighter middle, it is not much at 150X.

NGC 3720 Faint, small, round little brighter middle at 150X. It is paired with NGC 3720, which is nearly identical.

NGC 3773 Pretty faint, small, round, pretty suddenly brighter middle at 150X.

NGC 3810 Pretty bright, pretty large, brighter in the middle, elongated 1.8 X 1 in PA 30 at 135X.

NGC 3872 Pretty faint, small, round, suddenly much brighter middle with an almost stellar nucleus at 150X.

NGC 3900 Pretty faint, pretty large, little elongated 1.2 X 1 in PA 0, brighter middle, averted vision helps the contrast of this object quite a bit at 135X.

NGC 3912 Faint, pretty small, round, a little brighter in the middle, this galaxy is not much at 135X.

In an attempt to provide some information about what can be seen from down on the desert floor in contrast to at altitude, I observed these same galaxies with the 13" f/5.6 Newtonian from Flatiron (FI), which is at 1500 ft. and also from Camp 613 at 7200 ft.

NGC 3987 FI 150X and hood--pretty faint, pretty small, very much elongated 4X1 in PA 60, brighter middle.
613 150X--pretty faint, pretty large, very much elongated 4X1 in PA 60, brighter middle, averted vision makes it grow. 220X will show an occaisonal stellar nucleus.

NGC 3989 FI 150X--not seen.
613 150X--very faint, small, round, averted vision helps, but difficult. Going to 220X helps some, but still tough to see.

NGC 3993 150X and hood--faint, pretty small, elongated 2X1 in PA 165, star at the northern tip and not brighter in the middle.
613 150X--faint, pretty small, elongated 2X1 in PA 165, star at the northern tip is easy and a little brighter in the middle.

NGC 3997 FI 150X and hood--faint, very small, very little elongated 1.2X1 in PA 30, between 2 stars of about 13th magnitude, not brighter in the middle.
613 150X--pretty faint, small, elongated 1.8X1 in PA 30, between 2 stars and a little brighter in the middle.

I did not get a chance at Camp 613 to observe the rest of these objects in this grouping, maybe next year!

NGC 4000 220X--extremely faint, small, elongated, only seen 20% of the time, averted vision only. This difficult object is next to a 7th magnitude star.

NGC 4005 150X and hood--pretty faint, small, round, brighter middle, on the other side of the bright star from NGC 4000.

NGC 4015 150x--faint, small, round, brighter middle, averted vision makes it grow.

NGC 4018 150X--pretty faint, pretty small, elongated 3X1 in PA 165, somewhat brighter middle.

NGC 4023 150X--very faint, pretty small, round, not brighter in the middle, low surface brightness, aviz helps to see it.

Abell 1367 is one of the galaxy clusters noted by George Abell's landmark work with the POSS. Many of these clusters are very faint and distant but some can be picked out with an amateur scope at a dark site.

In the 12.5" at 135X, with a 30' field, I can pick out one pretty faint galaxy with 4 very faint companions. They are so dim that turning on the red light to draw them makes them disappear for about 30 seconds until my night vision returns. There are 10 other galaxies within one degree of this field. These are some of the toughest objects I have ever managed to pick out in 10 years of observing. If you are looking for a challenge, Abell 1367 will provide one.

36" f/5 at 1996 Texas Star Party (Larry Mitchell) T=8/10 S=6/10 with 20mm Nagler 122 galaxies seen within two FOV around the central section. Many different galaxies in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Spending time with central field, averted vision shows another 15 or so very faint galaxies are discernable. Easily my best view of this rich field of galaxies.

Copeland's Septet (also in 36") is two lines of three galaxies each with 20mm Nagler, then another galaxies off to the east(?). A nice spiral is at the end of one of the lines of three galaxies. The other line of galaxies includes a nice edge-on with pretty high surface brightness. Obviously seven galaxies.


Double Stars in Leo All with 12.5" f/6

3 Leonis easy split at 125X, Yellow and Blue.

6 Leonis nice split with 14mm EP, dark yellow and blue.

54 Leonis needs 175X for clean division, White and Greenish.
Another night, blue-white and white, a sparkling pair.

88 Leonis easy at 100X, light yellow and gray.
Another night, yellow and light blue.

90 Leonis Split at 135X, triple star, white, light yellow and blue.

Kappa Leo Just split in the 6" f/6 and a 6.7mm EP, only seen as double at 10% of the time.

Gamma Leonis is a very famous double star in the Sickle of Leo. Its Arabic name is Al Geiba, which means The Mane, referring to its location in The Lion. An 8" scope at 200X will split this binary pair into two lovely golden stars about 4 arc seconds apart. The
calculated orbital period of this pair is about 500 years, twice the period of Pluto around our Sun. This lovely pair was discovered by William Herschel in 1782.

Omicron Leonis Wide pair, light yellow and light blue