Finishing off in Ursa Major, NGC 3893 made me grin because the main spiral arm along the galaxy's eastern side looks like a bad comb-over. Please share your observations with us in the comments area as you spiral down these galactic rabbit holes. At first sight the arms blend into the hazy disk but with care I can discern a tendril of haze that separates from the southwestern end of the disk and wraps around to the northeast. Anthony, Despite what photographs show most arms are faint and diffuse but with repeated observation and the right magnification you'll be amazed at what you can see. All my observations were made with a 15-inch (38-cm) Dobsonian under rural skies (Bortle 3) under a variety of different seeing conditions. Quick question, as I am very new to Astronomy and telescoping, am I to understand from your article that if I want to see any of these galaxies, I would need at least an eight inch telescope? A.K.A. While traces of spirality are visible with telescopes as small as 6-inches, the larger the aperture the better. Ever since I was a young amateur I've wanted to see spiral arms. The northern arm is a little fainter and truncated at its western terminus. Are there any galaxies, or other DSO's, you could recommend that I can see with my telescope? With averted vision and 245x a pair of wispy spiral arms emerge from either end. What a beautiful place this is. When I first look at the galaxy I see a confusion of arcs, but with patience and liberal use of averted vision I soon find my way. Use high magnification to distinguish the dense tangle of arms in this wonderful object. Take a look, especially at M51, and write back to tell us what you see. I'll have to wait for a trip to a dark-sky star party during galaxy season for my next chance to see these galaxies through a big telescope. Not to mention the joy of knowing that a shape imprinted in my very DNA resonates across the universe. NGC 2903 in Leo is a beautiful object with an extended, bright nuclear region set in a softly glowing disk highlighted by brighter patches. Thanks for all of the information! I'd love to hear what you see through your telescope. Hi G-Pop, Head over to NGC 5248 located off the beaten path in southern Boötes. February 17, 2014, By: Alan MacRobert January 24, 2014, By: Alan MacRobert M81, also in Ursa Major, is another large spiral with a bright, broad core and delicate pair of arms. When I was finally able to hold both in view simultaneously the sight gave me a tingle. The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) in Canes Venatici is a great place to start. Orion 10016 StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope. It has an 8-Inch Aperture that has excellent light-gathering capability. Luckily, you can view both with just one telescope. If you'd like, report back and share what you saw. I've selected a dozen of the season's best and brightest spirals. We tour spring’s best and brightest. I hope you have clear skies. Thank you! Celestron – NexStar 127SLT Computerized Telescope, 6. Great article and sketches, Bob! Further classifications include SAB for weakly barred spirals, SA for spirals without a bar, and a variety of lower case letters to indicates finer details. In the telescopes of my youth galactic structure was hard to come by. The fact that they appear and disappear with the vagaries of seeing makes for a dynamic sight! Sky & Telescope is part of AAS Sky Publishing, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Astronomical Society. Any list is incomplete due to space restrictions. Thanks Bob. January 13, 2007, By: Kelly Beatty May 20, 2020 July 23, 2003, By: William Sheehan A second fainter arm uncoils from the west. Sometimes you'll see letters used in combination as in "bc" or "ab" to indicate a hybrid form. Log in. NGC 4725 in Coma Berenices has thick spiral arcs that remind me of a pair of earmuffs.