M96 (NGC3368) is a 9.9mag bright galaxy in the constellation of Leo and with M95 and M105 the dominant members of the Leo I galactic group which also includes some fainter galaxies (NGCs 3299, 3377, 3384, 3412 , 3489 , UGC 5889).Its apparent size is 7′.6 × 5′.2.Seeing it with binoculars is very difficult,but a 4inch-telescope will be a fine instrument to detect is side by side with M95 in the constellation of Leo.
It was discovered by by French astronomer Pierre Méchain on March 20, 1781.Its distance from earth is about 35 million light-years.
RA: 10h 46m 45.7s
Dekl.: +11° 49′ 12
80cm f/7 AstroOptik corrected Cassegrain, Astrodon LRGB-filters, FLI Proline 16803-CCD-camera, remotely controlled from CTIO/UNC Chile
Integration time: LR(Ha)GB (L=22x1200s, RGB=11x1200s each,Ha=3x2400s) ergo a total time of 22hours.
image processing: Bernd Flach-Wilken
here is a close up of M96:
a detailed look to the center was taken by the HST
and another one taken with the VLT (ESO)