The Leo Trio

 

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Description: This trio of galaxies consists of M65 at the upper right, M66 at the lower right and NGC3628 at the left.  This group is catalogued as Arp 317 in Halton Arp's catalogue of peculiar galaxies.  The group is gravitationally interacting and approximately 35 million light years distant.
 
Exposure Data: 4/25/2003.  LRGB: 24x2m, 6x3m, 6x2m, 6x3m. RGB binned 2x2. -10C, 2.65 arc-sec./pixel
 
Processing: Acquired via Sequencer and CCDSoft, reduced and aligned, gradient correction in Mira, combined with Sigma Reject plug-in,  RGB combined 0.91:1.0:1.03 in Maxim, LLRGB assembly, curves, levels, mild USM other processing in Photoshop.
 
Optical System: FSQ-106 @ F/5, ST-10XME NABG/CFW-8A CCD camera, unguided with Paramount ME mount.
 
Comments: This image is a composite.  Previous high resolution images the three galaxies linked above were composited into this image to show more detail than would otherwise be possible.