Messier 95 or M95 (also designated NGC 3351) is a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Leo. It has an apparent visual magnitude of 9.7 and its angular diameter is 4.4x3.3 arc-minutes. M95 lies at an estimated distance of 38 million light years. The Equinox 2000 coordinates are RA= 10h 44m, Dec= +11° 42´ which makes M95 best seen during the spring. The Messier Spring Star Chart shows the position of all Messier objects visible during that season.
This galaxy was discovered by P. Méchain in 1781. It is one of four barred spiral galaxies included in the Messier Catalog (M58, M91, M95, and M109). M95 is a member of the Leo I group of galaxies, which includes M96, M105 and a number of fainter galaxies.
According to Stoyan et al. (2010), the distance of M95 is 32.6 million light years and its diameter is 70,000 light years. Its estimated mass is 50 billion solar masses.
Messier's Description of M95
March 24, 1781
`Nebula without star, in the Lion [Leo], above star l (53 Leonis): its light is very faint.'
- Object: M95
- Other Names: NGC 3351
- Object Type: barred spiral galaxy
- Object Data: Apparent Magnitude = 9.7, Angular Size = 4.4x3.3 arc-minutes
- Object Position (Equinox 2000): RA= 10h 44m, Dec= +11° 42´, Constellation = Leo
- Date/Time: 2011 Apr 02 at 05:07 UTC
- Location: Bifrost Astronomical Observatory, Portal, AZ
- Mount: Astro-Physics 1200GTO
- Telescope: Takahashi Epsilon 180 Hyperbolic Astrograph
- Camera: Canon EOS 550D (Rebel T2i) (modified with a Baader UV/IR filter)
- Field of View: 1.70° x 2.56° at 1.7 arc-sec/pixel (web version: 10.0 arc-sec/pixel)
- Exposure: 4 x 300s, f/2.8, ISO 800
- File Name: M95M96M105-01w.jpg
- Processing (Adobe Camera Raw): Graduated Filter, Vignetting Correction, Noise Reduction, White Balance, Curves
- Processing (Photoshop CS5): Average Images, Curves, Noise Reduction
- Original Image Size: 3454 × 5179 pixels (17.9 MP); 11.5" x 17.3" @ 300 dpi
- Rights: Copyright 2011 by Fred Espenak. All Rights Reserved. See: Image Licensing.