M66 Group (Leo Trio)

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M66 Group (Leo Trio): The M66 group of galaxies also includes M65 and NGC 3628. This grouping is also called the Leo Trio, or the Leo Triplet.

Messier: 66
NGC: 3627
Right Ascension: 11 hrs 20.2 min
Declination: 12° 59"
Apparent Magnitude: 8.9

Date: January 2012
Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini 2
Telescope: Orion ED80T CF apo refractor
Camera: SBIG ST-10XE
Guiding: ST-80 refractor/DSI Pro/PHD

Exposure: Lum: 6x10 minutes, binned 1x1
R: 11x5 minutes, binned 2x2
G: 11x5 minutes, binned 2x2
B: 10x5 minutes, binned 2x2

Processing Notes: Data acquisition with CCDSoft. Reduced and aligned in CCDStack and combined with Sigma Combine. Arcsine stretch import of L into Photoshop. Adjusted curves and levels. RGB combined 1:1.05:1.75 ratio. Adjusted curves and levels, and reduced noise of RGB. L was combined with RGB using three layers: Luminance on the bottom; RGB as a multiply(30%) layer; and RGB as a color layer on top. Final adjustment and tweak in Photoshop.

Additional Comments: One of the first images using the G-11 mount and the Orion ED80T CF apo refractor. No field flattener on this image. The mount was set up and run, and all raw data was taken "unattended," which was successful for almost four hours. Each of these objects has been individually imaged using the 16" scope. Those images can be found elsewhere on this website.

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