NGC 3953 -- Barred Spiral Galaxy in Ursa Major
A Galaxy before Moonrise
It had been a good observing night. The weather was crisp and the sky clean and transparent.
But the moon would soon break the eastern horizon. As is often the case, I had saved the best
target for last. NGC 3953 is one of the brighter members of the 50+ gravitationally bound M109
Group of Galaxies. NGC 3953 is reasonably bright with a barred core that can, on good nights,
be seen in moderate-sized telescopes. The bar did need to be teased out at a higher
magnification (I used 232x) than what I used for the rest of the drawing -- but it was worth the
extra effort. You will probably have to enlarge the drawing to see the short bars on each side of
the galaxy's core. NGC 3953 was a perfect way to end my time at the telescope.