NGC 3351, M95, a barred spiral galaxy
AAO image reference AAT 97.    « Previous || Next »

NGC 3351, M95, a barred spiral galaxy, NGC3351.jpg, m95.jpg
Top left is NE. Image width is about 8 arc min
Image and text © 1993-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin.

This fine galaxy is seen almost face-on and is one of a small group in Leo whose members are at distance of about 25 million light years. Despite the distance, several of these galaxies appear in Messier's catalogue, about one third of which consists of galaxies. Though the exact form of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is not known, there is increasing evidence that it is a barred spiral, perhaps like M95. While the 'bar' is the dominant feature in a picture taken from afar, it is easy to imagine that this structure could be very difficult to detect from inside the galaxy, especially if seen from a position at right angles to it.

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, August 1