Galaxy Triplet in Leo (M 65, M 66, NGC 3628)

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About this Image

This highly resolved 3-panel mosaic is presenting a famous group of galaxies, consisting of the Messier objects M 65 (bottom right) and M 66 (bottom left) as well as the edge-on dusty spiral NGC 3628 (top left). They form a beautiful and photogenic group which is frequently referred to as the Leo Triplett.

Halton Arp has included this group as number 317 in his Catalogue of Peculiar Galaxies (M66 is also Arp 16 and shows some nice H-alpha areas and a faint halo).
Lying at a distance of some 35 million light years, it is probably physically related to the M96 group.

Find a close-up on NGC 3628 here.
Find a close-up on M 65 and M 66 here.


Technical Details


16" cassegrain in prime focus at f/3 and secondary focus at f/10

Mount MK-100 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -25C for f/3 and for NGC3628, internal filter wheel
SBIG STX-16803 at -30C with STX filter wheel for M65, M66 and top-right area
Filters Baader LRGB 65x65mm
Date 2005 - April 2010.
Location Wildon/Austria
Sky Conditions mag 5-5.5 sky, FWHM 1.8-2.5"
Exposure F/3: L:R:G:B = 120:60:60:60 minutes (10-minute sub-exposures),
F/10 M65,M66: L:R:G:B = 200:60:60:60 minutes (20-minute sub-exposures)
NGC3628: L:R:G:B = 320:80:80:80 minutes (20 minute sub-exposures),
top-right area: L:R:G:B = 120:60:60:60 minutes (20 minute sub-exposures)
total exposure: 17.7 h
Programs used Maxim DL 5
Photoshop CS3