NGC 3115 -- Lenticular Galaxy in Sextans
The moon had set, and the night was crystal clear but very cold. Even from my suburban
backyard, NGC 3115 (the Spindle Galaxy) was not difficult to see in the 155mm refractor.
A bright nucleus surrounded by an extended sphere of light with thin straight arms
spreading outward in opposite directions. It was a fine sight.
This galaxy was missed by Messier but made the Caldwell List (#53) and the Herschel
400 list, so it is often visited and enjoyed by amateur astronomers. NGC 3115 has the
distinction of having the nearest-to-Earth, billion-plus solar-mass black hole. With an
active 2 billion solar-mass black hole at is core it is not a surprise that its bright nucleus
shows so well in the eyepiece.