A dusty beauty

NGC 3627, also known as Messier 66, i.e. it is the 66th object in the famous catalogue of nebulae by French astronomer Charles Messier (1730 - 1817). It is located in the constellation Leo (The Lion).

NGC 3627 is a beautiful spiral with a well-developed central bulge. It also displays large-scale dust lanes. Many regions of warm hydrogen gas are seen throughout the disc of this galaxy. The latter regions are being ionised by radiation from clusters of newborn stars. Very active star-formation is most likely also occurring in the nuclear regions of NGC 3627.

The galaxy forms, together with its neighbours M 65 and NGC 3628, the so-called "Leo Triplet" ; they are located at a distance of about 35 million light-years. M 66 is the largest of the three. Its spiral arms appear distorted and displaced above the main plane of the galaxy. The asymmetric appearance is most likely due to gravitational interaction with its neighbours.

This photo of the spiral galaxy M 66 (or NGC 3627) was obtained with the FORS1 and FORS2 multi-mode instruments (at VLT MELIPAL and YEPUN, respectively) on December 16-18, 2001. It is a composite of three exposures in different wavebands. North is towards upper left, West towards upper right.

Crédito:

ESO/P. Barthel

Sobre la imagen

Identificador:eso0338c
Tipo:Observación
Fecha de publicación:19 de Diciembre de 2003
Noticias relacionadas:eso0338
Tamaño:4961 x 4965 px

Sobre el objeto

Nombre:Messier 66, NGC 3627
Tipo:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Distancia:35 millón años luz
Constellation:Leo
Categoría:Galaxies

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Coordenadas

Position (RA):11 20 15.07
Position (Dec):12° 59' 28.00"

Colores y filtros

BandaTelescopio
Óptico
B
Very Large Telescope
Óptico
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Very Large Telescope
Óptico
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Very Large Telescope

 

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