Astronomy Picture of the Day
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This popular group is famous as the
- a gathering of three magnificent galaxies
in one field of view.
Crowd pleasers when imaged with even modest
telescopes, these galaxies can be introduced individually as
NGC 3628 (top), M66 (bottom left), and M65 (bottom right).
All three are large
They tend to look dissimilar because their galactic disks are
tilted at different angles to our line of sight.
with obscuring dust lanes
cutting across the plane of the galaxy, while the disks
both inclined enough to show off their spiral structure.
Gravitational interactions between galaxies in the group
have also left telltale signs, including the
disk of NGC 3628 and the drawn out spiral arms of M66.
of the region spans about one degree
(two full moons) on the sky.
The field covers over 500 thousand light-years at the
trio's estimated distance of 30 million light-years.
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