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Astronomy by Michelle

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NGC3686 in Leo

Amateur astronomy consists of many things to me. There is nothing like a great star party where the public is introduced to the night sky.? I really love hunting down the very faint galaxies in the NGC and IC catalogs.? And imaging is great to show people who can't get to the scope what's up there.? But, every once in a while, I just want to see a faint fuzzy with a little more detail.? Certainly, I can go to the digitized sky survey or refer to my thumbnails in my observing software.? But there's nothing like your own snapshot to prove you visited the Grand Canyon right?? Well, this is one of those shots.? Just a few quick exposures combined to see what's in this great little spiral. The core is easily seen in a moderate telescope.? At magnitude 11.4, it's hard to miss with a large scope. Those great spiral arms and its face on presentation can only be seen in a photograph.?

ngc3686.gif (30440 bytes)

Since the exposures on this were short, I inverted the picture to bring out the detail.? You can see an image defect in the lower left of the frame.??