Leo Triplet

My first collaboration, and what a result!

This photo of the Leo Triplet (a triplet of galaxies) is quite special!
The data is made up of around 3hrs 30min of exposure time from Nicola Gadola and another 5hours from me and is my first collaboration with another astronomer friend.

This triplet is made-up of the 3 galaxies M65 (bottom left), M66 (top left) and NGC3628 (right). All 3 of those galaxies are located roughly 35 million light years from earth.

M65 appears slightly warped and seems to have forgone a burst of new star births recently, suggesting it might have been interacting with another galaxy not long ago.
This galaxy is estimated to have a mass of 250 billion solar masses.

On the other hand, M66 has a very interesting spiral structure. This structure is theorized to originate from recent interactions / gravitational pull from NGC3628.
M66 is roughly 95 thousand light-years across.

Further, the “Hamburger galaxy” (or NGC3628) on the right is an edge-on galaxy. Having a 300 thousand light years long tidal tail from interactions with its neighbors (that’s twice the diameter of our galaxy).
Containing over 500 billion solar masses this galaxy is certainly a bit bigger than the other 2 and also than our own.

This group of galaxies is located in the constellation of Leo and belongs to the bigger galaxy group “M96”.

Data from me (Tino Heuberger):
60x300s with GSO RC8″, Celestron AVX, Canon 7D Mark II

Data from Nicola Kadola:
40x90s + 49x180s with GSO RC6″, Celestron AVX, Nikon D7000

Total integration time: 8hrs 27mins

Post-processed by me (Tino Heuberger) using PixInsight.

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