The Leo Trio

Posted by CraigAndTammy
on Wednesday, April 20, 2011

by Craig and Tammy Temple

The Leo Trio, also known as the M66 Group, is a small group of galaxies consisting of spiral galaxies M65, M66, and NGC 3628, an edge-on spiral. This group lies 35 million light-years away in the constellation Leo and spans about one degree (two full moons) across the sky. M65 (magnitude 10.3) is the galaxy to the upper right in this image and was discovered by Charles Messier in 1780. M66 (magnitude 9.7), also discovered by Messier in 1780, is lower right, and NGC 3628 (magnitude 9.4), discovered in 1784 by William Herschel, is on the left.

Telescope: Stellarvue Raptor SVR105 @ f/7
Accessories: Stellarvue SFF7-21 flattener; Dew control by Dew Buster
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G controlled by EQMOD; performance tuned by Astrotroniks
Guiding: TS-OAG9 Off-axis, using a Starlight Xpress Lodestar via PHD
Camera: QHY9-C one-shot color CCD @ -20.0C
Filters: IDAS-LPS-P2
Exposure: 45 x 5min. (3hr. 45min.)
Acquisition: ImagesPlus 4.0c Camera Control
Processing: Calibration in Images Plus v4.0; Min/Max excluded average & HDR-DDP in Images Plus
Post-processing: Adobe Photoshop CS5; Gradient XTerminator; HLVG; Carboni’s Tools
Date(s): March 28 & April 1, 2011
SQM reading (begin - end): N1:18.67-cloudy; N2:18.72-18.81
Temperature (begin - end): N1:49.2F-46.2F; N2:52.7F-48.3F
Location: Hendersonville, TN, USA
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