NGC 3079 (UGC 5387) Galaxy in Ursa Major

Located at: RA 10 hours 01 minutes 57 seconds, Dec +55 degrees 40 minutes 35 seconds

Size: 8.0' x 1.4' Magnitude: 11.5 blue Class: SB(s)c sp

North is up

West to the right


 8" f5 Newtonian reflector


 ST-8XME, self-guided, binned 1x1, temp -25c, camera control MaxIm DL 4.56


Lumicon Red filter, 380 minutes (38 x 10 minute subs), 03/26/29/30/2012; seeing 2.3-4.4 FWHM per CCDStack


CCDStack 2.65.4464.17853, Photoshop CS5.1


 Rolling Roof Observatory, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 (+34d 13m 29s -118h 52m 20s)

Notes: The little round 'spot' of a galaxy to the west (right) of NGC 3079 is NGC 3073 (1.3'x1.2', 14.1b mag, Cl:SAB0-). See the 14.5" version.

From the NGC / IC Project:

Contemporary Visual Observation(s) for NGC 3079

NGC 3079 = UGC 5387 = MCG +09-17-010 = CGCG 266-008 = Holm 156a = PGC 29050

10 01 57.3 +55 40 54

V = 10.9;  Size 7.9'x1.4';  Surf Br = 13.4;  PA = 165d


48" (4/18/15): I made another short observation of this remarkable asymmetric edge-on at 375x and 488x before observing the Twin Quasars, which lie 14' NNW.  The brightest portions of this 6:1 edge-on NNW-SSE is warped and bowed out towards the east in the very bright central section. An intense nucleus is within this central section, though offset to the east of center.  The west side of the central section is irregular in surface brightness due to dust.  The northern extention thins and has a slight bend on the north end, beyond a mag 14 star.  On the south side is a bright streak, but to the east of this streak and further south the galaxy is dusty and sections of the galaxy appear to be highly obscured.  Two mag 14 stars are off the west side of the galaxy and mag 9.6 HD 237858 is 3.5' SE of center.


48" (4/6/13): I only took a quick look at this gorgeous showpiece edge-on at 375x.  The entire length of the galaxy appeared very mottled, clumpy and dusty, although there was no distinct dust lane.  The shape is irregular and sharply rises to an intense, very elongated 4:1 core that bulges and appears offset from the geometric center.  A mag 14 star is superimposed on the north side and SDSS J100200.73+554247.0, an extremely faint galaxy (V = 18.6), was glimpsed 1.2' E.


18" (3/13/10): fascinating view at 280x.  NGC 3079 appeared very bright, edge-on 5:1 NNW-SSE, 7'x1.4'.  The galaxy extends a little bit beyond a mag 13 star near the north tip of the galaxy and on the south end the galaxy extends beyond a line drawn between mag 9.6 HD 237858 off the SE end and a mag 13.5 star to the west of the southern extension.  Contains a bright elongated 4:1 core, which appears clumpy and mottled with a noticeable irregular surface brightness.  The NNW extension is tilted further towards the west than the core, so appears misaligned.  In addition, the south extension appears warped or has a missing portion on the eastern side probably due to dust, so the entire galaxy has a bent, very striking asymmetric appearance.


17.5" (3/12/88): very bright, large, edge-on 6:1 NNW-SSE, bright core.  Forms a trio with NGC 3073 10' WSW and MCG +09-17-009 6' NW (noted as "very faint, very small, round.")  To the south is a triangle of bright stars; mag 9.0 SAO 27486 7' SE, mag 8.3 SAO 27476 6' SSW and mag 9.1 SAO 27482 3.3' SE of center.


William Herschel discovered NGC 3079 = H V-47, along with NGC 3073, on 1 Apr 1790 (sweep 955) and recorded "cB or vB, mE from np to sf, about 8' l and 2' br, vgmbM."  His position is accurate.

Contemporary Visual Observation(s) for NGC 3073
NGC 3073 = UGC 05374 = MCG +09-17-007 = CGCG 265-054 = CGCG 266-006 = Mrk 131 = 
PGC 28974
10 00 52.0 +55 37 07
V = 13.4;  Size 1.3x1.2;  SB = 13.7

17.5": faint, small, round.  Located 10' WSW of N3079.

- by Steve Gottlieb