NGC 5005 & NGC 5033 -- Spiral Galaxies in Canes Venatici
Two Spiral Galaxies Southeast of Cor Caroli
The two reasonably bright galaxies, NGC 5005 and NGC 5033 make a nice couple in the
eyepiece. They are located just three degrees east-southeast of the superb double-star
Cor Caroli (Alpha Canum Venaticorum). Both spiral galaxies are giants. NGC 5005 is the
size of our Milky Way (100,000 light years across) while NGC 5033 is a true monster at
180,000 light years across. These two galaxies are the largest of a collection of 29
gravitationally bound galaxies known as the Canes Venatici Spur.
In the 155mm refractor from my suburban backyard, the smaller NGC 5005 is the easiest to
see. It is compact and slightly brighter at the center. NGC 5033 is more spread out and
dimmer, but still not overly changing to see. It has a large noticeable core.
This twin pair of galaxies were nearly straight over my house when I made the drawing. The
telescope has its best penetration of the suburban sky-glow when pointed straight up. I
always appreciate when celestial objects give me the best view from my house.