Solar System

(The Little Lion)

Overshadowed by its larger cousin, Leo Minor is a tiny faint constellation that was devised by Johannes Hevelius in the 17th century. There isn't any mythology associated with it as it isn't an ancient constellation.

The deep sky objects are criminally unexplored by many as they are faint and require large telescopes to be seen. The selection of galaxies is like a box of chocolates, there is something for everyone and they are a feast for the eyes! From edge on spindles to interacting galaxy pairs and galaxy chains, the variety is astonishing.

  NGC 3344:
  The brightest galaxy in Leo Minor, this magnitude 9.8 spiral is a marvellous gem. In small telescopes, the large yellow core is the only part visible with the snaking form of the faint spiral arms requiring a large telescope. It lies at a very close distance of 25 million light years.
    NGC 3486:
    NGC 3486 is a beautiful face on spiral that shines at a reasonable magnitude 10.3 with the core being the brightest part. The spiral arms are much more numerous than in NGC 3344 and seem quite delicate and flowery. Many HII regions can be seen in the spiral arms as well as a couple of star clouds, they must be fairly small as
NGC 3486 is 33 million light years away.
    NGC 3395-6:
    A bizarre tangle of galaxies, this magnitude 12 merging pair is a strange but beautiful sight. It is one of the brighter Arps and is also known as Arp 270. The size is fairly large so it is accessible for small scope observers although crank up the aperture and many knots and HII regions can be seen, particularly in the area of
NGC 3396 that is closest to NGC 3395.
    NGC 2859:
    Set into a field sown with many yellow stars, the magnitude 11 NGC 2859 is a wondrous spiral galaxy. What makes this galaxy spectacular is a massive ring around the galaxy, it is very dim and almost impossible to see. The area between the ring and the galaxy contains a few stars.