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

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About this Image

This small group of galaxies consists of the Messier objects M65 (up right) and M66 (down right) as well as the edge-on dusty spiral NGC 3628 (left). These three galaxies, the heart of the M66 group, 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.


Technical Details


16" cassegrain in primefocus at f/3

Mount MK-100 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -30C, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik LRGB + H-alpha
Date January 2005, reworked 2006.
Location Wildon/Austria
Sky Conditions mag 5 sky, temperature -2 C
Exposure L:Ha:R:G:B = 60:25:15:15:15 minutes (5-minute sub-exposures),
Processing Image aquisition in Maxim, image calibration, aligning, DDP in ImagesPlus; H-alpha combined with red; L added at 70%, color balance, curves in Photoshop;
north is to the left;