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The Leo Triplet - M65, M66, & NGC 3628

The Leo Triplet is a small group of galaxies consisting of spiral galaxies M65 (right top), M66 (right bottom), and NGC 3628 (left). The group is about 35 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo.

A portion of the long, faint tidal tail extending down from the bottom-left side of NGC 3628 is just barely visible (on well-calibrated monitors). The tail is the result of past gravitational interactions between NGC 3628 and its neighbors, and extends well beyond the edge of the frame.

Details of M65, M66, and NGC 3628 are shown below.

104 minutes L and 120 minutes RGB on 2012-04-13 using a QSI 583 from northern New Jersey through an Astro-Physics 155mm refractor at f6. North is to the left. 2012

M65 detail

M65, detail from the above image.

M65 detail

M66, detail from the top image.

NGC 3628 detail.

NGC 3628, detail from the top image.

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