The NGC 5363/NGC 5364 galaxy group in Virgo
May 2020 - Picture of the Month
The pairing in the title appears to the left of this image: NGC 5363 is the elliptical galaxy towards the top near that 8th magnitude star, and NGC 5364 is the spectacular spiral 14 arc-minutes below.
I'd like to claim another pair of interacting galaxies to go with Owen's Galaxy of the Month this May, but opinion seems divided. There certainly isn't a lot of visual evidence of interaction at this point, apart from a slight asymmetry in the spiral arms of NGC 5364. The NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) suggests that they can't be much more than 5 Mly apart. But perhaps that's too far? Oh well.
Most of these galaxies appear to be members of number 362 in the Lyon Groups of Galaxies (LGG) catalogue, the exception being NGC 5373 on the extreme left which is much further beyond this group. There's an addition needed for the full seven group members, and this is NGC 5300 nearly two and a half degrees to the West and way out of shot!
The Night Sky Observer's Guide (NSOG) suggests that NGC 5363, NGC5364 and NGC 5300 can be visually observed with relatively modest sized telescopes. I think something with 12-inches of aperture or more is likely to be necessary to do a good job on this group. I'm going to give it a go with my 10-inch just to find out.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.