Astronomy Picture of the Day



Trio Leo

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zorg.ch
#85115 by @ 10.03.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Trio Leo


Explanation:

This popular group is famous as the
Leo
Triplet
- 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
spiral galaxies.

They tend to look dissimilar because their galactic disks are
tilted at different angles to our line of sight.

NGC 3628 is seen
edge-on,
with obscuring dust lanes
cutting across the plane of the galaxy, while the disks
of M66 and
M65 are
both inclined enough to show off their spiral structure.

Gravitational interactions between galaxies in the group
have also left telltale signs, including the
warped and inflated
disk of NGC 3628 and the drawn out spiral arms of M66.

This gorgeous
deep view
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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