Constellation tour in Spring
Sextans (The Sextant)

Date & Time: Jan 1 2000, 26:32 JST(+0900), 18min. Exp.
Optical: MD Rokkor f=50mm F1.4, Aperture: F2.8, with Cokin Diffuser-1 filter
Auto-guided with TAKAHASHI EM-200 Equatorial
Film: Ektachrome E200 (+1EV pushed)
Location: Kita-ibaraki city, Ibaraki pref.

ASCII/Astroarts StellaNavigator
A minor constellation of Sextans is positioned just south of Leo. The constellation had been established by Hevelius in 17th century, formed from fine stars with 4th or 5th magnitude. We can hardly trace the figure of constellation from such an incomprehensible asterism. The "Sextant" is a kind of old-fashioned surveying instrument used in sailing. And there is another constellation of same kind "Octans", but it cannot be appreciated at the northern hemisphere because the constellation is circumvolving around the celestial South Pole.
The sextant has a celestial territory of a true square and the celestial equator is crossing through the constellation. Some galaxies are contained, among them, NGC3115 is one of the brightest galaxies scattered in this field, it has a nickname of "Spindle Galaxy", can be easily enjoyed only with small scopes.

Guide for Deep Sky Objects

Spindle Galaxy NGC3115 ...Bright edge-on galaxy in southern region, 21.8 million ly. away
NGC3166, NGC3169 ...A pair of small galaxies in northern region
UGCA205 (Sextans A) ...A dwarf galaxy belonging to the Local Group positioned at center, 4.7 million ly away

Coma Berenices


Copyright(c) 2000 by Naoyuki Kurita, All rights reserved.
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