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
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.