NGC 3195 is a planetary nebula of mag. +11.5, located in the southern constellation of Chamaeleon. At a declination of -81 degrees, it's the closest bright planetary to the South Celestial Pole and therefore circumpolar from almost the entire Southern Hemisphere. Theoretically, it can also be seen from northern latitudes but only from south of +9 degrees. Even then, from such locations this planetary only scraps above the horizon and is an incredibly difficult, if not impossible, object to spot.

John Herschel discovered NGC 3195 on February 24, 1835. It's number 109 and the final object in the Caldwell catalogue.

NGC 3195 (credit:- NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))

Finder Chart for NGC 3195 (credit:- freestarcharts)

Finder Chart for NGC 3195 - pdf format (credit:- freestarcharts)

NGC 3195 lies almost exactly halfway along an imaginary line connecting stars Zeta Chamaeleontis (ζ Cha; - mag. +5.1) and Delta Chamaeleontis (δ1 - mag. +5.5, δ2 - mag. +4.5). On good nights, it can be spotted with an 80mm (3.1-inch) refractor, although at low magnifications it appears star-like. Increasing the power above 75x will reveal its true nature.

Through a 200mm (8-inch) scope, the planetary displays a slightly elongated small disk, spanning 42 x 30 arc seconds that's better seen with averted vision. In addition, an Olll or UHC filter will assist. With a 300mm (12-inch) or larger instrument, a trace of a ring shape can be made out. The central star is feeble at mag. +15.3 and therefore beyond the range of all but the largest backyard scopes.

NGC 3195 is 5,500 light-years distant and has a spatial diameter of 1.1 light-years.

NGC 3195 Data Table

Object TypePlanetary Nebula
Distance (light-years)5,500
Apparent Mag.+11.5
RA (J2000)10h 09m 21s
DEC (J2000)-80d 51m 30s
Apparent Size (arc secs)42 x 30
Radius (light-years)0.55

Sky Highlights - September 2017

Neptune reaches opposition on September 5th

The Planets
This Month's Guide

Algol Minima
Algol eclipse dates and times for September

Northern Hemisphere
West:- Jupiter (mag. -1.7)
Southwest:- Saturn (mag. +0.5)
East:- Neptune (mag. +7.8)
South:- Neptune
East:- Uranus (mag. +5.7)
West:- Neptune
South:- Uranus
East:- Venus (mag. -3.9), Mars (mag. +1.8) (from second week), Mercury (mag. +0.5 to -1.3) (from second week)

Southern Hemisphere
West:- Jupiter
Northwest:- Saturn
East:- Neptune
West:- Saturn
North:- Neptune
Northeast:- Uranus
West:- Neptune
Northwest:- Uranus
Northeast:- Venus
East:- Mars (end of month)

Deep Sky

Small telescopes:-
Messier 13 - M13 - Great Hercules Globular Cluster
Messier 92 - M92 - Globular Cluster
Messier 11 - M11 - The Wild Duck Cluster (Open Cluster)
Messier 7 - M7 - The Ptolemy Cluster (Open Cluster)
Messier 6 - M6 - The Butterfly Cluster (Open Cluster)
Messier 4 - M4 - Globular Cluster
Messier 8 - M8 - Lagoon Nebula (Emission Nebula)
Messier 16 - M16 - Eagle Nebula (Emission Nebula with Open Cluster)
Messier 20 - M20 - Trifid Nebula (Emission and Reflection Nebula)

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