Monday, 4 August 2014

Leo's Triplet

Some months ago I tried this object but the clouds rolled in and I thought that I didn't take light enough for a good result. After a tough process trying to control the noise here is the modest result.

The Leo's triplet or M66 group is located in the constellation of Leo near the rear paw of the lion. This group is located at aproximately 35 million ly and formed by three galaxies:
  • Messier 66 (also known as NGC 3627) is an intermediate spiral galaxy. M66 is about 95 thousand light-years across. The apparent magnitude is 8.9 being the brightest galaxy in the group.
  • Messier 65 (also known as NGC 3623) is also intermediate spiral galaxy  with an apparent magnitude of 10.25. 
  • NGC 3628, also known as Sarah's Galaxy is an unbarred spiral galaxy. It has an approximately 300,000 light-years long tidal tail. Its most conspicuous feature is the broad and obscuring band of dust located along the outer edge of its spiral arms, effectively transecting the galaxy to our view. The apparent magnitude of NGC 3628 is 14.9 being the toughest one to spot when trying visual on this group.
This shot is composed by 14 lights (3' ISO 1600 no guiding), 20 darks and 30 bias with the Nikon D3100 throught the ETX-70. With more lights the image would've been sharper but the clouds didn't gave me time for that... The process was performed with DSS and StarTools.


And the annotated image: