How to Find Messier 96

How to Find Messier 96 

Messier 96-NGC 3368 ESO.jpg

This galaxy can be found in the constellation Leo. This wonderful galaxy has two nearby galaxies that can also be seen. A must see for the northern spring sky.

Messier 96 is double barred spiral galaxy found 31 million light years away. It was discovered by Mechain in March 1781. It can be a challenge to see with binoculars. A type Ia supernova was seen in 1998 emanating from this galaxy that has been shown to have ejected iron amounting to just under half the mass of our sun. This galaxy is the brightest of the M96 cluster that also contains M95 and M105.

Image credit: ESO/Oleg Maliy

Other names:

M 96

NGC 3368

Telescopic image to scale:


This image is 30 arc minutes by 30 arcminutes which is about the size of the full moon.


Magnitude = 10

Surface Brightness = 13

Telescope Aperture City Suburbs Rural Dark Sky
4 inches 9 10 11 12.5
5 inches 9.5 10.5 11.5 13
6 inches 10 11 12 13.5
8 inches 10.5 11.5 12.5 14
10 inches 11 12 13 14.5

Use this chart to estimate if you can see the object from your location with your telescope. For more help on using this chart click here.

How to find it:

Look for the bright star, Regulus in Leo. This star forms the "dot" of a backward question mark shape. Once you have identified the reverse question mark look for the area marked with the crosshairs on the chart below. Here you will discover not only M96 but also M95 and M105. It's co-ordinates are: RA 10h 47m 29.85 DEC +11° 44′ 44.2″ if you are using guiding software.

How to Find Messier 96

To find more space objects have a look at the constellation guide by clicking the link or go back to the list of deep space objects.

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