M65 and M66 in Leo

 

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Description: These two galaxies, M66 on the left and M65 on the right, together with NGC3628 are 30 million ly distant and are thought to be interacting.
 
Exposure Data: 3/12/2005.  LRGB:30 x 5m, 8x5m, 8x5m, 8x7m. RGB binned 2x2.
-20C, 0.56 arc-sec./pixel.
 
Processing: Automatic acquisition, dithering, focusing via CCDAutoPilot2 and CCDSoft, reduced and aligned, in Mira, L: 50 RL iterations in AIP4WIN, RGB combine in Maxim, LLRGB combine, curves, levels and other processing in Photoshop.
 
Optical System: 14.5 Ritchey-Chretien @ F/9 w/FFC, IMG6303E/CFW-7 CCD camera, AstroDon filters, Paramount ME, dithered 4 pixels, unguided.
 
Comments: FWHM 2.2 arc-sec. center, 2.3 arc-sec. corner.  Automatically acquired from both sides of the meridian in one session.