I was surprised when I spotted this large and unknown (to me that time) galaxy in the Sky Atlas. Furthermore it is pretty bright based on the catalog data, about 10.1m. That time I didn't know that this size and integrated brightness are not the best combination when it comes to surface brightness. This barred spiral galaxy is about 11-12 million light years away from us. This means it is very close. It is a member of the M 81 Group.
The galaxy does not reveal many details in the small 4" Dobsonian telescope. The whole galaxy is an extremely diffuse, mysterious glow basically without details. The central area is elongated with a fainter asymetrical extension to one side. The central part is eventually the bar of the galaxy and the extension is the brighter part of the spiral structure. You can see a lot more details with a larger telescope and this made me a bit gloomy while drawing. Because all these details remained hidden in the small scope.
It took me a long time to draw this galaxy. Partly because of the former reason. And partly because of the unpredictable spring weather and the great number of other much more tempting projects. A funny addition is that after the 2013 May weekend (by "after" I mean quite a few days) I had to think for hours to find out what this object is that I had just started to draw. There were only a good dozen stars in the field and nothing more in my sketchbook. And I forgot to indicate the name of the object in the sidenotes...
You can see the Digitized Sky Survey (DSS) image on the left. More precisely the POSS II (blue) image. I rotated and cropped the image and I also made a bit of contrast enhancement. It is obvious that there is a lot to see in the galaxy. The view with a larger telescope (16" for example) is much closer to the photograph than the view wth my small 4" scope.
A member of the M 81 group
Coma Berenices globular clusters
A pair of globular clusters in the spring sky
Perseus planetary nebula
Little Dumbbell Nebula
Face-on grand design spiral galaxy
A unique grand-design barred spiral galaxy in the Virgo Cluster
Coma Berenices galaxy
Grand-design spiral galaxy. One of the biggest members of the Virgo Cluster.