Date: February 3,5,15-16th 2023

Exposure: 270 x 3 minutes
Total: 13hr 30min

About This Image


Telescope: Stellarvue SVX130T-R
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount MX
Camera: Player One Poseidon-C Pro
Filter: Optolong L-Quad Enhance
Accessories: 3.5" Feathertouch • Stellarvue SFFX2
Guiding: Starfield 50mm Guide Scope • Player One Neptune 664C • PHD2
Software: Photoshop • PixInsight • TheSkyX • Starkeeper Voyager • GraXpert


The Leo Triplet, also known as the M66 Group, is a small cluster of galaxies located approximately 35 million light-years away in the constellation Leo. This group consists of three main spiral galaxies: M65, M66, and NGC 3628. M65 is classified as a type SAB(rs)a galaxy with an apparent magnitude of 9.3, M66 is an SAB(s)b galaxy with an apparent magnitude of 8.9, and NGC 3628 is categorized as an SAb pec galaxy with an apparent magnitude of 9.5[1]. These galaxies are not just visually close together but are gravitationally bound to each other, forming a unique cosmic trio that astronomers find fascinating[2].

The Leo Triplet is a popular target for astrophotographers due to its distinct features and alignment in the night sky. NGC 3628, also known as "The Hamburger Galaxy," appears edge-on with dark dust lanes obscuring its bright core, while M65 and M66 showcase beautiful spiral structures at different angles[3]. The Leo Triplet offers a diverse range of galaxy types within a single field of view, making it an intriguing subject for both amateur and professional astronomers alike. This cosmic trio presents an excellent opportunity for capturing stunning images and studying the dynamics of galaxies in close proximity[4].


  • [1]
  • [2]
  • [3]
  • [4]

Distance: 35,000,000 light-years
Size: M66: 87,000ly, M65: 94,000ly, NGC3628: 300,000ly (including the tidal tail which you can barely make out in my image)


Location in the Night Sky

(Star Chart created using PixInsight)


All Images    Craig Sherris