NGC 3489 -- Lenticular Galaxy in Leo
NGC 3489 – A Type 2 Seyfert Galaxy
The lenticular galaxy NGC 3489 is easier to spot from my suburban backyard, with
my 6.1-inch refractor, than many other galaxies of around the same magnitude (10.3).
The extremely active nucleus which is fueled by a black hole, with a mass of
6,000,000 times that of our sun, makes the galaxy’s nucleus easily spotted in the
eyepiece. Galaxies with this active of a nucleus are called “type 2 Seyfert Galaxies”.
When looking at this galaxy’s soft glow with a bright center, it is hard to visualize that
in reality it is a collection of tens-of-billions of stars, spanning 30,000 light years
across, at a distance beyond comprehension.