M66 = NGC3627 (11h 20.2m +1259, 9.0 mag. )


This spiral galaxy in Leo was discovered by Mechain in 1780 together with M65. Messier saw it on March 1, same year. M66 measures about 50,000 ly across and at 21.5 million ly away, it is a little bit closer then M65. M66 can be spotted in binoculars about 1 SEE of 73 Leonis (see finder chart below).

The above image was taken on March 12, 2002 from Harrowsmith, Ontario using Cookbook 245 LDC CCD camera on Ultima 8 f6.3 telescope, autoguided with Cookbook 211 LDC CCD camera on a piggybacked 500mm f8 telephoto lens. It is composed of 15 white integrations (240 sec. each) as well as cyan, magenta and yellow-filtered exposures (5 x 240 sec. each) combined using AIP4WIN. Color image was the adjusted in Lab color space using Corel PhotoPaint 8.

North is to the left. Magnitude 15.7 asteroid Yabu (4631) happen to wander into the same field of view.


Map created in Guide 7.0 - 745' x 745'. North is up.


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Jan Wisniewski