|NGC 1365: Spiral Galaxy (Fornax) RA: 03h 33.6m / DEC: -36° 08'.3|
Instrument: 18-inch Obsession
NGC 1365 must be a truly spectacular site from the Southern Hemisphere. Even from Flagstaff, where this galaxy rises just 19° above the horizon, it's one of the most impressive barred spirals I've observed. The oval core region is aligned northeast-to-southwest and covers a 52" by 21" area. The central bar feature runs nearly east-west over 2'.8 by 0'.9. Of the two dominant spiral arms, the most obvious extends northward from the western end of the bar. This arm is visible over a distance of 3'.2, but long exposure photos and CCD's show this arm extending nearly twice that length. I saw just the subtlest hint of a second arm south of the western half of the bar. The arm off the eastern end of the bar curls southwest for 2'.2; again about half the length of the arm in astroimages. Altogether, this 9.6 magnitude barred spiral covers a 5' by 3' area in the big Dobsonian. Eleven faint stars are seen in the vicinity of NGC 1365, including a 13th magnitude ember along the eastern edge of the northern spiral arm.
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Revised: November 7, 2005 [WDF]