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(IAAC) Objects: M65/M66/NGC3628 (Galaxies-Leo) INST: 16" f/4.59 Newt



Observer:  Todd Gross
Your skill:  Intermediate 
Date and UT of observation: 12/3/97 08:15GMT
Location & latitude: 22 miles west of Boston, Ma. 42.3N
Site classification: Suburban
Limiting magnitude (visual): 5.3 (estimated) 5.1 (est) in vicinity of object
Seeing (1 to 10 - worst-best):  4-5
Moon up (phase?): No
Weather: Clear
Instrument: 16" Newtonian-dob w. 96/99% coatings f/4.59
Magnifications: 69x,124x,267x + binoviewer 125x
Filters used: none
Object: M65/M66/NGC3628 Galaxy grouping 
Constellation: Leo
Object data: Three spiral galaxies, one edge-on 
Sizes: 10'x3', 9'x4', 15'x3' 
M65 Position: 11:19 RA,+13:06 DEC
Magnitudes: 9-9.5
Personal "rating" (at this aperture, and sky condition):  B+

Great trio! Easily visible all together at low power, being only
20-37 arc minutes apart.

As usual, the more extended NGC3628 is hardest to 
view, best viewed with averted vision to clearly bring out it's dark 
lane. It is a large, ghostly edge-on with the dark lane, fairly prominent 
running close to it's center axis. Not as striking as NGC 891, or NGC4565
but still quite nice. Galaxy runs E-W

M65 and M66 looked incredibly similar - both very long, and narrow, and both
with long, narrow central cores. Looks kind of like two rectangles inside
two long 
rectangles. They run nearly parrallel to each other and point towards NGC 3628
to the north. (which runs perpendicular) Very exciting view through the 
Televue binoviewer. I decided to kick it down to lower power using 42mm
Ultimas 
barlowed to an effective 15.5 mm equivalent eyepiece view. Despite the 
small apparent field size, all three galaxies maintained their brightness 
in the eyepiece, and the "feel" was like watching the galaxies on a TV
screen.