I didn’t pick up a lot of detail in this galaxy. It displayed an elliptical shape with a strongly condensed core that almost looked double in nature, due to an overlapping foreground star. The galaxy was elongated west-southwest to east-northeast, with a core that seemed to push northwest to southeast. I estimated its dimensions at 2.5′ x 4′.
M109 is a barred spiral that displays a shape reminiscent of the Greek letter Theta. It is about 55 million light years away and receding at 1,142 km/sec. It is a member of the Ursa Major Cloud. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781. Charles Messier listed it under number 99 in a preliminary manuscript, but it was not added to the official catalog until 1953 when Owen Gingerich added it.
|Subject||M109 (NGC 3992)|
|Classification||Spiral Galaxy (Type SBb I)|
|Position*||Ursa Major [RA: 11:57:36 / Dec: +53:23:28]|
|Size*||7.6′ x 4.9′|
|Brightness*||9.8 vMag. / 10.6 bMag / 13.4 Surface Brightness|
|Date/Time||February 25, 2006 – 03:30 AM
(February 25, 2005 – 10:30 UT)
|Observing Loc.||Anderson Mesa, AZ|
|Instrument||Orion SVP 6LT Reflector (150 mm dia./1200 mm F/L)|
|Eyepieces/Mag.||10 mm (120X)|
|Conditions||Clear, calm, 18Â°F|
|Transparency||Mag 6.8 NELM|
|*Sources||Orion’s The Sky Software
*Based on published data.