Two Spirals in Leo
Messier Designation: M 95 / M 96
Constellation: Leo - The Lion

These are two fine but faint galaxies in the Constellation of Leo, about half way from the prominent star Regulus to the famous "Leo-triplet". The two galaxies are associated with each other, so it is not just a random alignment we see here. M 96 (left) is a spiral galaxy with a prominent dust band obscuring part of the galactic core. M 95 (right) is a so-called barred spiral that we are watching from a face-on perspective. In the larger version one can easily see the central bar-like alignment of stars that indicate vivid star formation triggered by special tidal effects not yet thoroughly understood.

The mount was not in good mood this evening, I had to do some adjustments to correct guiding errors. However, regardless of the somewhat elongated stars I wanted to share the picture with you.

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