The constellation Leo is rich in galaxies, and this group is one of the best known.
This small group of galaxies (part of the M66 Group) consists of three members, NGC3628 (edge-on galaxy not visible in this image – see previous image), M65 (right) and M66 (left).

It is commonly referred to as “The Leo Triplet”. All three galaxies lie at an estimated distance of about 35 million light years.
The M66 group may be related to the M96 Group and the Leo I galaxy group.

Other versions

Previous/older images:

Oct 04, 2005 – Canon 350D (Orion USA 80/600 ED, OTE-150 55m)

Image data

Object info
Name M65 & M66
Type Spiral galaxy
Constellation Leo
Right ascension 11h 18m 56s (M65)
Declination +13° 05′ 32″ (M65)
Distance 35 Mly (M65) 36 Mly (M66)
Other designations NGC3623, UGC6328, PGC34612 and NGC3627, UGC6346, PGC34695, Arp 16
Image info
Image date Mar. 09, 2010
Light frames 20x 5 min. IDAS LPS-P2 unbinned
Total integration 1h 40m
Dark frames 9x
Flat frames 30x p. filter unbinned. Created with an A3 size Posterpoweruk flatfield panel
Bias frames 6x
Software used CCDOps, CCDSoft, ImagesPlus, PixInsight LE, Photoshop CS2
Processing CCDOPS was used for focussing. Image Acquisition was done using CCDSoft.
All separate frames were calibrated, aligned and stacked in ImagesPlus 2.8.
Photoshop CS2 was used for further processing – curves adjustment, levels adjustment, etc.
Noel Carboni’s toolset was used as well (Local Contrast Enhancement, Deep Space Noise Reduction)
Equipment info
Telescope Orion Optics SPX 10″ Newton
Corrector Televue 2″ Paracorr coma corrector (FL: 1.380mm f/5.43)
Mount Losmandy G-11
Camera SBIG ST-8300M
Guide camera Atik 1HS Mono
Guide scope Celestron 60/700 Achromat
Autoguide software Guidemaster
Filters 2″ IDAS LPS-P2
Location Landgraaf, The Netherlands
Image comments