M66 - A Galaxy in Leo
M66 - A Galaxy in Leo
M66 - A Galaxy in Leo
M66 is a barred spiral galaxy in Leo. This galaxy is one of the 3 galaxies making up the "Leo Triplet" of M65, M66, and NGC 3628. The high concentration of stars in the center of the galaxy may be a result of the gravational interaction with its two neighbors. This galaxy has apparent dimensions of 9' x 4'.

In this photo, North is to the Left. This image is cropped to 40% of the original full frame.

Exposure Details
Lens Celestron C-8 SCT with Celestron focal reducer
Focal Length 1160mm
Focal Ratio f/5.8
Mount Schaefer GEM - 7 1/2 inch Byers gear
Guiding ONAG On-Axis Guider, Lodestar autoguider, PHD Guiding
Camera Canon 450D - Gary Honis modified
Exposure 89 subexposures of 300 seconds each at ISO 1600 - about 7 1/2 hours total
Calibration 30 darks, 30 flats, 30 bias
Date March 10, 2013
Temperature 41F
SQM Reading 21.5 (Bortle 4)
Seeing 3 of 5
Location Pine Mountain Club, California
Software Used Images Plus 5.0 for camera control, calibration, stacking, digital development, star shrinking, smoothing and noise reduction, advanced Lucy-Richardson deconvolution, and multiresolution sharpening. Photoshop CS5 used for levels and curves, high pass filter, star shrinking, screen mask invert, lab color, saturation adjustments, selective color, vibrance, match color, and smart sharpen. Gradient Xterminator for gradient removal. Carboni Tools for additional noise reduction, and smoothing. HLVG for additional color correction. Registar for aligning stacks and composites and for color channel alignment. Focus Magic for focus restoration.
Notes This image is a crop from an image of both M65 and M66. I was very pleased with how this image turned out, as M66 is a beautiful, colorful galaxy with some extraordinary details.

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