NGC 3413, 3424 & 3430 -- Galaxies in Leo Minor
A Dim Triplet of Galaxies in the Small Lion
For those that own a good-sized Dobsonian Telescope, this triplet is a pleasing sight, all
three easily seen in a one-degree field-of-view. For my 155mm refractor from my suburban
backyard they are usually out of reach. Tonight’s sky was very clear, and I was in the
neighborhood already, so I thought I would give the triplet a try.
Although dim, NGC 3430, was visible at first glance. Teasing out NGC 3413 took a little
more effort, but I could snag it without too much difficulty. However, NGC 3424 was not to be
seen at either 84x or 137x. I had almost given up on it. Its elongated thin, magnitude 12.4
glow finally made itself visible at 232x, but even then, it would wink, in-and-out of existence as
my eye wondered around the eyepiece view. After finding the third galaxy at high power, I
return to the other two with the 232x eyepiece. No details could be made out for NGC 3413,
but the brighter core of NGC 3430 made itself known.
The circle in the drawing is a composite of the field-of-view at 84x (0.9 degrees), while the
details of the galaxies are presented as viewed at 232x.