The spiral galaxy Messier 66 (NGC 3627)
AAO image reference AAT 62.    « Previous || Next »

The spiral galaxy Messier 66 (NGC 3627, M66), m66.jpg
Top left is NE. Image width is about 10 arc min
Image and text © 1989-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin.


M66 in Leo is a dusty spiral galaxy, and is a member of the same compact group of galaxies as M65 and NGC 3628. The striking symmetry of M65 is lacking, and the central bulge, though large, is less well defined. The spiral arms are very easy to see, but seem distorted and displaced above the plane of the galaxy, probably a result of interactions with its neighbours. Much more dust is visible here as well as a few pink nebulae, signs of star formation, near the end of one of the arms.

Related Images
AAT 61.   Messier 65 (NGC 3623) spiral galaxy in Leo
AAT 63.   Edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 3628 in Leo
AAT 103. The galaxies of the Leo Triplet
Constellation of Leo (external site)

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, August 1