Spiral galaxy M 96 (NGC 3368)
The bright spiral galaxy Messier 96 (NGC 3368) in Leo, shown from a red-light CCD exposure with an RCA CCD at the 1.1-meter Hall telescope of Lowell Observatory. North is at the top and east to the left, for direct comparison with a chart or eyepiece view. This display uses a logarithmic intensity transformation to preserve information across a wide dynamic range. The field is 3.6 by 6.0 arcminutes, which doesn't cover the whole galaxy (the bigger TI CCDs had gone to Australia at the time, to support observations of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact).
This galaxy has some particularly interesting background objects, which serve as indirect probes of its dust content. M 95 and M 96 lie within 3/4 degree of one another in the sky, too far apart to be a physically bound pair but close enough to be interesting.
The image was obtained in April 1994 by Bill Keel and Anatoly Zasov.