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M 95

Spiral Galaxy M95 (NGC 3351), type SBb, in Leo

Right Ascension 10 : 44.0 (h:m)
Declination +11 : 42 (deg:m)
Distance 38000 (kly)
Visual Brightness 9.7 (mag)
Apparent Dimension 4.4x3.3 (arc min)

Discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781.

M95 is a barred spiral of type SBb, or SB(r)ab according to de Vaucouleurs' classification, with nearly circular arms. Alan Sandage, in the Hubble Atlas of Galaxies, calls it a "typical ringed galaxy". Its overall appearance is quite similar to M91 except that M95 has more pronounced spiral structure.

M95 was one of the galaxies in the key project of the Hubble Space Telescope for the determination of the Hubble constant: the HST was employed to look for Cepheid variables and thereby determine this galaxy's distance. A preliminary result has been obtained and published in 1996-97 by the HST H0 Key Project Team, J.A. Graham et.al. (1997). Their result, corrected for the semi-recent adjustment of the Cepheid brightness zero point by ESA's Hipparcos astrometrical satellite, is a distance of 35.5+-3.1 million light years. This is in semi-good agreement with the value of about 41 million light years (after correction for Hipparcos results) which had been obtained earlier by Nial R. Tanvir for its neighbor M96, and implies a distance of all the galaxies in the Leo I or M96 group of about 38 million light years.

  • Historical Observations and Descriptions of M95
  • More images of M95
  • Amateur images of M95

  • SIMBAD Data of M95
  • NED Data of M95
  • Observing Reports for M95 (IAAC Netastrocatalog)


    Hartmut Frommert (spider@seds.org)
    Christine Kronberg (smil@lrz.uni-muenchen.de)

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    Last Modification: 9 Dec 1999, 22:59 MET