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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2006

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NGC3628, Chris Hofstra


The Spiral galaxy shown above (NGC3628) was discovered by William Herschel on April 8, 1784. It's distance from Earth is approximately 35,000,000 ly. Like this Spiral galaxy, most other galaxies usually consist of two major components: A flat, large disk which often contains a lot of interstellar matter. The pattern structures in the disk are most probably transient phenomena only, caused by gravitational interaction with neighboring galaxies. The neighboring galaxies that interact with NGC3628 are M65 (NGC3623) and M66 (NGC3627). Together these three galaxies form a beautiful and photogenic group which is most commonly known as the Leo Triplett.

NGC 3628 is the faintest and most difficult to capture of the three galaxies in the Leo Triplett group. Thus its discovery was left to William Herschel who cataloged it as H V.8 following its discovery on April 8, 1784. In the first paragraph I gave a brief description of common Spiral galaxies; however NGC 3628 has its own specific characteristics. NGC3628 is seen edge-on. A conspicuous band of dark dust clouds form a broad equatorial band, which obscures the galaxy's bright central region, and hides most of the bright young stars in its spiral arms. The dust band, or belt, is obviously distorted and deformed in the outer regions of the galaxy. The reason for this deformation is evidently the gravitational interaction with its two bright neighbors, M65 and M66. Its visual brightness is 9.5 mag., which describes why its so faint compared to M66 and M65. To calculate the linear size of NGC3628 I used the small angle formula. The result is about 140,000 x 37,000 ly based on angular dimensions of 14.0 x 3.6 arc min.

Reference: www.seds.org/messier/extra/similar/rasc-ngc.html


Right Ascension (J2000) 11:20:16
Declination (J2000) 13:33:52
Filters used clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 300 sec.
Date observed

March 31, 2006