The Leo Trio M65/M66/NGC3628 Galaxies in Leo

Uploaded 3/21/10

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 This stunning group of galaxies lies near the hind quarters of Leo the lion, riding high on March evenings near the zenith. This is the first time I have been able to capture all three in one image with decent resolution on all three galaxies. There are numerous background galaxies in this image, as we are looking toward a part of the sky with little interference from the Milky Ways dust.

On the left is the peculiar edge on spiral NGC3628, a 10.3rd magnitude Sb type with a yellow core, gorgeous central dust lane and expanded blue arms.

Top is M65 a 10.3 magnitude SAB type spiral, some 10 arc minutes in size. You can clearly see the dust in the arms on this 6 degree incline spiral.

Bottom is M66, undoubtedly the most interesting object in the field. This bright 9.7th mag SAB spiral shows excellent internal details in the blue arms with an outer spray of stars beyond the galaxies edges.

Dozens of faint galaxies permeate this field. The faintest I could identify for sure are 17.5 magnitude, the 15th magnitude ones being quite obvious.

North is to the left in this 1.5 degree wide image.

Optics: 8" f/4 Newtonian Astrograph w/Baader MPCC Coma Corrector Platform: Astrophysics AP1200 Camera: Hutech Modified Canon XTi @ ISO800 Exposure: 11 x 5m Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: Seeing 3/10, Transparency 8/10 Outside Temperature: 35F Processing Tools: Photoshop CS2, Images Plus 3.82 HOME GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS