M 66 is a very beautiful spiral galaxy in Leo. Together with M65 and NGC 3628 they form the so called Leo Triplet. M 66 is about 35 million light years away and shows deformed spiral arms, most probably due to gravitational encounters with the other members of the Triplet, as well as very conspicuous blue (young stars, a signal for high star-birth rate, probably due to its encounters…) and red (hydrogen -Hα- gas emission areas). This galaxy appears twice in Halton Arp’s Catalog of Peculiar Galaxies, as number 16 (alone) and 317 (the complete Triplet).
Name(s): M 66. NGC 3627.
Type: Spiral galaxy
RA: 11h 20m 14s
Dec: +12º 59’ 29”
Size (arcmin): 10×5
Distance: 35 Mly
Location: Corbera de Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia
Size (arcmin): 27×16
Telescope: Celestron 11” HD f/10
Camera: FLI ML6303 (3072x2048pix)
Guiding: Orion SSAG/Nikkor 500mm f/8
Total exposure: 90 min (L: 10x3min; RGB: 10x2min each)
Processing: CCDStack, Photoshop CC 2016 and PixInsight