NGC 1964 -- Barred Spiral Galaxy in Lepus
The Hare’s Herschel 400 Galaxy
At the feet of the great hunter (Orion) accompanied by his biggest hunting dog (Canis Major)
lay the freshly killed hare (Lepus). This constellation contains only a few Deep Sky Objects
that can be enjoyed visually by amateur astronomers. Only one Messier Object (Globular
Cluster M79) and one Herschel 400 Object (Galaxy NGC 1964) fall within the borders of this
NGC 1964 is a large Barred Spiral Galaxy which harbors a supermassive black hole at its
center. It is a bit southern for good viewing from my suburban neighborhood in Central
Maryland, but despite this, the core of the galaxy was evident at 84x in the 155mm refractor.
Given a little time, at a magnification of 182x, the mottled disk could be teased out to a
limited degree. The drawing represents the eyepiece view at 84x, while details of the galaxy
were added as seen at 182x.
I would have spent longer with this galaxy, but the weather gods were not being kind. High
clouds were quickly moving in from the west and towards the end of my drawing, the galaxy
started phasing in and out of view. It was a forced short night and I had to end the telescope
time shortly after 9:00 PM.