Leo I Galaxy Group

Higher resolutions: 3800 x 3800 (100%)

About this Image

Subject A group of galaxies in Leo whose main members comprise of: M95 (NGC 3351), M96 (NGC 3368), M105 (NGC 3379), NGC 3384, and NGC 3389. The Leo I Group is also popularly known as the M96 Group.
Data NED database entries: M96 and M96 Group, M95, M105, NGC 3384 and NGC 3389
Description The Leo I Group is a collection of galaxies whos members, with the exception of NGC 3389, lie at common distance of around 10 Mpc and share a common red shift. NGC 3389 lies at twice that distance. There is a second nearby galaxy group in Leo at a similar distance - the better known Leo Triplet. In the above image North is to the left. Mouse over the above image for object identification.
Image cropsFull size crops of the main objects from the above image are shown below.

M95 is a beautiful barred ring galaxy (SB(r)b). The blue colour of the ring and arms indicates widespread star forming regions, whereas the nucleus and bar are redder indicating that they contain a predominately older stellar population.

M95 nucleus hotspots

M95's nucleus has a bright ring of "hotspots" which are often overlooked due to overexposure of the nucleus during image processing. The ring consists of a series of giant starburst regions that are fueled by an inflow of gas from the bar. For an overview and details of this phenomena see the papers: Nuclear Star-forming Structures and the Starburst-Active Galactic Nucleus Connection in Barred Spirals NGC 3351 and NGC 4303 and Chandra Observations of Circumnuclear Star Formation in NGC 3351. This monochrome image is displayed at 200% and enhanced to better show the circumnuclear ring.



M96 spiral galaxy with a faint outer ring. The ring extends the galaxy's diameter to roughly 100,000 light years. The knot of material at 7 o'clock is probably a background edge-on spiral galaxy visible through the ring.


M105 and NGC 3384 elipticals, and the more distant gem of a blue spiral, NGC 3389.

Technical Details

Date 2010 04 17 - 2010 05 04
Location Pumpkin Patch Observatory, Bourn, Cambridge, UK
Environment ~12C, ~60% humidity, no moon, seeing 2.9-3.7 arcs.
Optics Astro Optik 400mm Cassegrain @ prime focus (f=1200mm)
Filters Astrodon LRGB, YR Cyclops filter wheel
Mount Paramount ME
Guiding Borg 101ED/SBIG ST402ME
Camera FLI Microline 16803
Exposure LRGB 90/50/60/50 mins, 10 minute subs
Processing Maxim/DL 5, CCDStack, Photoshop CS
Notes Lum filtered and and RGB filtered images summed for final luminance layer, which was then deconvolved.
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