|This popular group is famous as the
- a gathering of three magnificent galaxies in one field of view.
Crowd pleasers when imaged with even modest
telescopes, these galaxies can be introduced individually as
NGC 3628 (top),
M66 (bottom left), and M65 (bottom right).
All three are large
They tend to look dissimilar because their
galactic disks are
tilted at different angles to our line of sight.
NGC 3628 is seen
with obscuring dust lanes
cutting across the plane of the galaxy, while the disks
of M66 and
both inclined enough to show off their spiral structure.
Gravitational interactions between galaxies in the group
have also left
telltale signs, including the
warped and inflated
disk of NGC 3628 and the drawn out spiral arms of
deep view of the region was taken by the new
VLT Survey Telescope (VST) and spans about one degree
(two full moons) on the sky.
The field covers over 500 thousand
light-years at the
trio's estimated distance of 30 million light-years.