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Monday, March 19

Mars passes M95 and M96 Galaxies

The sky was beautiful last night and I managed to get a nice conjunction of the planet Mars as it passes by two Messier Galaxies, M95 and M96.

Mars, M95 & M96
Skywatcher MN190 f/5
Canon EOS300D modified
EQ6 Pro autoguided

30 x 3 minute exposures @ ISO800

M95, shown on the right in this image, is a magnitude +11.4 barred spiral 36 million light years away from us.

M96, on the left, is a magnitude +10.6 type Sa spiral 31 million light years away.

Mars was shining brightly at magnitude -1.0 and is shown massively over-exposed here in this series of 3 minute exposures.

Look out for some great conjunctions on 25th or 26th March with the crescent Moon, Jupiter and Venus in the western early evening sky ; and Venus passing very close to the Pleiades (M45) on 2nd-4th April.


  1. Hi Jerry

    You also managed to capture a suspect supernova in M95 which appeared 3 days ago. It is currently under investigation and may turn out to be a Nova in our own Galaxy rather than a Supernova in the M95 galaxy. More here



  2. Now confirmed as supernova sn2012aw (the spectrum shows it to be type IIp, a star which collapsed under its own gravity when it ran out of fuel) This was caught early so could get brighten enough to see visually in a small scope.