NGC 3344 (LMi): an image

NGC 3344 in Leo Minor: an image (10 May 2015)

NGC 3344 in Leo Minor: an image (10 May 2015)

Lurking at almost 25 millions of light years, among the pale stars of Leo Minor, NGC 3344 is a gorgeous spiral galaxy, relatively isolated and perfectly face on, with elegant arms and plenty of details. An hint of a bar crossing the nucleus suggests it is a barred spiral. Motion of the outer stars suggests they can be a “gift” from another galaxy, after an ancient close encounter.

The picture above comes from the average of twelve, 300-seconds exposures, remotely collected with the  PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope Project. Images were unguided, binning 2×2, with a resulting scale of 1.2″/pixel.

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