NGC/IC Objects

NGC 3628: Edge-on Galaxy (Leo) RA: 11h 20.3m / DEC: +13° 35'.4
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder

NGC 3628 is one of my favorite edge-on spiral galaxies. It forms a wonderful triad with M65 and M66, half a degree to the south. Although the Messier galaxies are brighter, they do not show nearly as much structure in the 10-inch as NGC 3628. A 9.5 magnitude edge-on, 3628 covers a 8'x2' area oriented along an east-southeast to west-northwest axis. The most interesting feature is the dark lane, easily detectable in moderate aperture, which runs the length of the galactic disk. However, the dark lane runs nearly east-to-west and appears out of alignment with the surrounding nebulosity. It's a wonder the French comet hunter missed this impressive galaxy. NGC 3628 is a must-see object for anyone with a 6-inch or larger telescope and access to dark skies.

Instrument: 18-inch Obsession

In the 18-inch Obsession at 141X, NGC 3628 extends a full 12'.5 in length. A 10.1 magnitude star shines 6' south of the core and another eight stars frame this stellar metropolis. The askew dark lane remains the most prominent feature, and the disk is noticeably brighter close to the central core. A 16th magnitude star is seen east of center along the southern edge.

NGC 3626 NGC 3631


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Revised: March 13, 2005 [WDF]