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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2006

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M65, Sean McGriff

Crab Nebula

The M65 galaxy, originally discovered by Charles Messier in 1780, is considered to be a typical spiral type galaxy. Similar to the Milky Way galaxy, in which our Solar System resides, the M65 galaxy consists of a bright central bulge with thinning rotating arms originating at its center. The M65 galaxy has a distance of approximately 35 million light years and is located in the constellation Leo. Along with the M66 and NGC 3628 galaxies, M65 is part of a triplet of galaxies, known as either the "Leo Triplett" or the "M66 Group".

As seen in the image itself, the M65 galaxy is shown to have a very bright central bulge with dissipating arms surrounding the bulge. These dissipating arms, which are tightly wound around the bulge, show brighter areas of new start formations and dimmer areas that are less dense with fewer stars. Surrounding the arms is a faint "dust lane" which shows the lessening of density of the galaxy as one would travel further and further from the center. As for the size of the galaxy itself, the observable estimated angular size of the galaxy is approximately 6 minutes and the linear size is 62,000 light years. The image itself was cropped for aesthetic purposes.

M 65

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Right Ascension (J2000) 11:18:54
Declination (J2000) 13:02:52
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 300 seconds in all filters
Date observed

March 30, 2006 (C)
April 8, 2006 (B)
April 15, 2006 (RV)