Bubble Galaxy (NGC 3521)​ in Leo

NGC 3521 is a beau­ti­ful spir­al galaxy in the south­ern part of Leo, nearly as bright as many Messi­er galax­ies in Leo, Virgo and Coma Berenic­es. It is one of the most neg­lected bright galax­ies in the heav­ens. With a bright­ness of mag 9.1, it is only 0.6‑magnitude faint­er than M82 in Ursa Major. It is a fairly large sys­tem meas­ur­ing 72’000 light-years in true phys­ic­al extend, seen 29° from edge-on. NGC 3521 has a glow­ing, roun­ded appear­ance, giv­ing rise to its nick­name, the Bubble Galaxy. The galaxy is embed­ded in a huge bubble-like shells, which are likely the debris of earli­er encoun­ters and mergers.

[descrip­tion from O’Meara]


RCOS 14.5″ f/​8
Andor CG16M/​Apogee U16M
Astro­don Gen2
LRGB 560:180:160:160 min.
ROSA Remote Obser­vat­or­ies South­ern Alps
© Mar­tin Ruster­holz, Astrophotographer

Find­er Chart Bubble Galaxy (NGC 3521) in Cygnus

NGC 3521 Galaxy Sky Chart Astrophotography Martin Rusterholz

Image cre­ated by Skychart

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About Me

Hello, my name is Martin Rusterholz. I’m a Swiss amateur astrophotographer living near Zurich, the biggest town in Switzerland. My interest in astronomy started when I was 16. At that time, I built my first Newtonian telescope and mount. I studied physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) which was the only study including at least some aspects of astronomy and astrophysics. “Looking at the nights sky is an experience touching everybody deeply inside, something common to all human beings independent to the language spoken by the individuals”. Deep-sky astrophotography is my passion.