Elliptical galaxy NGC 3379=M105 and companion


The bright elliptical galaxy NGC 3379 (M105) in Leo, from a 5-minute blue-light exposure with a Tektronix 2048x2048 CCD at the 2.1-meter telescope of Kitt Peak National Observatory by Bill Keel and Lisa Frattare. North is at the top and east to the left, for direct comparison with a chart or eyepiece view. The image has been block-averaged by a factor of two for this presentation (and another factor of two as shown above), which uses a logarithmic intensity transformation to preserve information across a wide dynamic range. The field is 9.1 arcminutes square.

NGC 3379 is a well-observed galaxy, long used as a standard reference object for surface photometry. This image includes its S0 companion NGC 3384 (also confusingly called NGC 3371), and a third member of the group, the spiral NGC 3389, wouldn't fit.

Recent observations of planetary-nebula dynamics have given the intriguing result that NGC 3379 is deficient in dark matter compared to most galaxies of its luminosity.


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