Messier 65: Galaxy

Messier 65: Messier 65 is a spiral galaxy spanning 90,000 light years across. 10,000 light years smaller than our Milky Way, Messier 65 has 200 billion stars, twice as many as the Milky Way. Messier 65 is a semi bright galaxy at a magnitude of 10.25 and requires medium aperture and dark skies. Located in Leo, find Messier 65 between the stars Regulus and Denebola. Scan the area with your scope and you may be surprised to see 2 or 3 galaxies! This is the Leo triplet which includes M65 and M66. M65 will be the Galaxy that is slightly South of the other bright galaxy. The 3rd galaxy classified as NGC 3628 is significantly dimmer than the others. All 3 of these galaxies are gravitationally bound to each other but out of the 3, Messier 65 is the weakest interacting of them all. With large aperture you will be able to see dark dust lanes in both the Messier galaxies. As always, the darker the skies the better.

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Messier 65 and 66. Image Credit: Bill Snyder

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