Spiral galaxy M66 = NGC 3627

This color-composite CCD image shows the bright early-type spiral galaxy M66 (NGC 3627) in Leo (part of the interacting Leo Triplet with NGC 3623 = M65 and NGC 3628). This galaxy shows a distinct inflection or hook in the spiral pattern, perhaps relating to the interaction.

This color composite is from B and R images (with synthetic V) taken during twilight with a Tektronix 2048x2048 CCD at the 2.1-meter telescope of Kitt Peak National Observatory, by Bill Keel and Lisa Frattare. North is at the top and east to the left, for direct comparison with a chart or eyepiece view. The image has been block-averaged by a factor of 2 for this presentation, which uses a logarithmic intensity transformation to preserve information across a wide dynamic range. The field is 9.3 arcminutes high. A few of the brighter field stars saturated the CCD so strongly that some of the electric charge bled along columns, giving the vertical streaks from several stars.

This sharper view (from the 1-meter Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope or JKT operated by the SARA consortium on the island of La Palma) includes supernova 2016cok (in front of the dust cloud at about 8 o'clock from the nucleus)

Spiral galaxy NGC 3627 with supernova

The pair NGC 3623/7 (M65/66) is well shown in context in this red-light CCD image obtained with UA's 0.4-meter telescope:

Red-light image of galaxy pair NGC 3623/3627

And in wider context as part of the "Leo Triplet" along with the edge-on starburst spiral NGC 3628, in this image from the University of Alabama Crimson Dragon wide-field imaging system deployed on Kitt Peak:

Green-light image of galaxy troplet NGC 3623/3627/3628

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Last changes: 9/2018      © 2003-2018