Messier 65 & Messier 66 (HaLRGB)


Messier 65 & 66 are spiral galaxies in Leo. They are generally imaged with a third galaxy NGC 3628 and the group is known as the Leo Triplet. This was actually supposed to be a two panel mosaic of the triplet but the second panel is having some technical challenges so for now we’ll go with the “Leo Doublet”.

M65 is the upper galaxy and is about 35 million light years away. It has an apparent width of just under 9 arcminutes making it just under a third as wide as the full moon. M66 is the lower galaxy and is about 31 million light years away and has an apparent size just a tiny bit larger than M65.

Both galaxies have been gravitationally distorted though it’s more obvious in M66.

For all the technical detail see astrobin.

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