Spiral Galaxy (NGC 3623), type Sa, in Leo, in the Leo Triplett

RA 11:18.9 (h:m): DEC 13:05 (deg:m); Distance 35 million light years
Visual Brightness 9.3 (mag); Apparent Dimension 8x1.5 (arc min)

M65, together with its neighbours M66 and NGC 3628, forms a most conspicuous triplet of galaxies, the Leo Triplet or M66 group, located at a distance of about 35 million light years.

Although it is close to and thus under the gravitational influence of its neighbours, M65 looks like a very "normal" Sa type spiral and seems to have felt little influence. It has a prominent central lense and tightly wound spiral arms, plus a prominent dust lane marking the facing edge. The luminous disk is dominated by a smooth old stellar population. Near the lane, some knots are visible, which, according to J.D. Wray, may be associated with star forming regions. The lane may hide regions of star formation usually associated with such features in spiral galaxies.

M65, together with its neighbour, M66, has been discovered by Charles Messier, who cataloged it on March 1, 1780, describes it as "very faint nebula without stars."

Source and more: SEDS


M65 - M66: Galaxy Doublet in Leo
March 30, 2009 19:37 - 21:34 UT.
Imaging: William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO, f/6.8 [focal length 545 mm] with ATK16IC camera, Astronomik LRGB filters.
Exposures: Lum 16x300s [1x1]; RGB 5x120s [2x2]; all unguided.

Galaxy Triplet: M65, M66 and NGC3628.
February 7, 2009 23:19 - 00:05 UT.
More about this triplet here
Imaging: William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO with Meade 3.3 Focal Reducer at f/3 [focal length 240 mm], ATK16IC camera, Astronomik LRGB filters.
Exposures: Lum 21x60s [1x1]; RGB 10X30x [2x2]; all unguided.

Neighbouring Galaxies: M65 and M66.
March 11, 2007 22:10 - 22:41 UT.
Imaging: William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO, f/6.8 [focal length 545 mm] with diagonal, Baader Infra Red Blocking Filter; SC3a b/w RAW camera.
53 unguided exposures of 30 seconds.

April 1, 2006 21:17 - 21:43 UT.
Imaged with LX200 10-inch f/10 telescope with 0.33 Focal Reducer operating at f/4.06 [focal length 1015mm], Vesta Pro-SC3a b/w RAW mode, Baader Infra Red Blocking Filter.
73 autoguided exposures of 20 seconds.

April 1, 2005 20:49 - 21:0918 UT.
Leo Triplet: M65 - M66 - NGC3628: a Triplet of Galaxies in Leo.
More about this triplet here
Imaging: 200mm SLR Photolens, Baader Infra Red Blocking Filter, Vesta SC3a b/w RAW camera, 67 unguided exposures of 15 seconds.


April 24, 2004 21:17 - 21:25 UT.