|NGC 3079: Spiral Galaxy (Ursa Major) RA: 10h 02.0m / DEC: +55° 40'.9|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
You'll find NGC 3079 in the Great Bear. Phi (30) Ursae Majoris, a 4.6 magnitude star, is located 2.1 degrees to the southwest. The rendering at left captures the view in my 10-inch Starfinder at 82X. NGC 3079 is centered, a 10.7 magnitude spindle stretching 5'x1' along a north-south axis. This edge-on galaxy has a radial velocity of 1100 km per second, which translates to a distance of some 55 million light-years, depending on your value for the Hubble constant. Allowing for the fact that such estimates have large margins of error, it is possible the light you observe from this galaxy began its journey toward Earth when dinosaurs roamed our planet. Human beings weren't even a twinkle in God's eye. Observers with large aperture may detect nearby NGC 3073, a 13.4 magnitude SO-type galaxy.
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Revised: January 20, 2003 [WDF]