How to Find the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy (NGC 1365)

The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy, also known as NGC 1365, is one of the best examples of a barred spiral galaxy. It is located in the constellation of Fornax, but with a bit of star hopping, it can be located using Orion and Eridanus. You do need a telescope to see the galaxy itself, but I would recommend using the naked eye to find it's location.


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    Image titled Orion 2
    Find Orion.
    It's one of the most obvious constellations, so it makes a good starting point.
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    Find Cursa. If you look next to Rigel in Orion, you should find two stars. The bottom one (very dim, may not be seen) is Lambda Eridani, and the top one is Cursa. This is the start of Eridanus, the river.
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    From Cursa, follow Eridanus along. The stars are a bit dim. Use small binoculars or a finder scope if you're having trouble.
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    Beware, the next two jumps are quite big! From Epsilon Eridani, You need to hop to Eta Eridani, then down to Tau 1 Eridani. Once you've done that, the river keeps going in the opposite direction (left instead of right). From Tau 9 Eridani, you have another big jump to Upsilon 2 Eridani.
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    From Upsilon 2 Eridani, go down. You should see a pair of stars. They are 43 and 41 Eridani. Next to them, you should see a little triangle of stars, with a fourth star in the middle.
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    To find the galaxy, draw two lines. The first should be from 41 Eridani through the top star in the triangle. The second should be through the bottom two stars in the triangle. The galaxy is where the lines meet. You may need to go slightly to the left (increase right ascension).

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Categories: Astronomy