NGC 3626, mag. +10.9, is a spiral galaxy in Leo that was discovered by William Herschel on March 14, 1784. It's one of many galaxies in the constellation within the range of small scopes.

NGC 3626 is located 70 million light-years away. It covers 2.7 x 1.9 arc minutes of apparent sky, which corresponds to a spatial diameter of 55,000 light-years and is estimated to contain 40 billion stars.

Patrick Moore listed, NGC 3626, as number 40 in his Caldwell catalogue. It belongs to the NGC 3607 group of galaxies.

NGC 3626 (credit:- NASA, Sloan Digitalised Sky Survey)

Finder Chart for NGC 3626 (credit:- freestarcharts)

Finder Chart for NGC 3626 - pdf format (credit:- freestarcharts)

NGC 3626 is positioned 2.5 degrees southeast of Zosma (δ Leo - mag. +2.6). A trio of elliptical galaxies, consisting of NGC 3607, NGC 3608 and NGC 3605, are located 50 arc seconds west-southwest of NGC 3626. Of these, NGC 3607 is the brightest at magnitude +9.9. NGC 3608 is similar in brightness to NGC 3626. At 12th magnitude the third member, NGC 3605, is by far the faintest.

At low magnifications, NGC 3626 appears star-like through a 100mm (4-inch) refractor. Switch to averted vision and it looks somewhat fuzzy, hinting at its true non-stellar nature. A 200mm (8-inch) scope reveals a dim outer halo surrounding a small bright central core. The galaxy appears extended, but even large backyard reflectors don't significantly enhance the view.

NGC 3626 is best seen from northern latitudes during the months of March, April and May.

NGC 3626 Data Table

NGC3626
Caldwell40
Object TypeSpiral Galaxy
ClassificationSb (S0/Sa)
ConstellationLeo
Distance (light-years)70 Million
Apparent Mag.+10.9
RA (J2000)11h 20m 04s
DEC (J2000)+18d 21m 24s
Apparent Size (arc mins)2.7 x 1.9
Radius (light-years)27,500
Number of Stars40 Billion
FeatureMember of the NGC 3607 Group

Sky Highlights - September 2017

Opposition
Neptune reaches opposition on September 5th

The Planets
This Month's Guide

Algol Minima
Algol eclipse dates and times for September

Northern Hemisphere
Evening
West:- Jupiter (mag. -1.7)
Southwest:- Saturn (mag. +0.5)
East:- Neptune (mag. +7.8)
Midnight
South:- Neptune
East:- Uranus (mag. +5.7)
Morning
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
Evening
West:- Jupiter
Northwest:- Saturn
East:- Neptune
Midnight
West:- Saturn
North:- Neptune
Northeast:- Uranus
Morning
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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