This galaxy makes up one third of what is known as the Leo Trio, a cluster of bright galaxies which appear to lie in close proximity to one another. These galaxies can be seen with a small telescope as a triangular group of smudges near the hindquarters of Leo the Lion. They are much more impressive when photographed. This galaxy, M66, is a distorted barred spiral with a massive dusty core.
This is a composite of 10 thirteen minute images shot with my ST7 using a .63 reducer. The scope was my handy-dandy 6" inch SCT.
All images on this site were taken at my observatory, Skunky Acres Observatory, located at 7000 feet above sea level, high in the mountains of New Mexico. Skunky Acres gets its name from the prodigious skunk levels of the surrounding area (it was either that or Skunkapalooza).
Equipment roster: 8" F7 Planetary Newtonian Reflector 8" F4.5 Newtonian Reflector 6" Schmidt-Cassegrain (piggyback on 100mm achro) 9.25" Schmidt Cassegrain 100mm F6 Achromatic Refractor 80mm F6 Stellarvue Nighthawk II Refractor SBIG ST7 CCD DSI Pro CCD Orion Starshoot DSCI Canon 300D DSLR Lots of junky guide-scopes. and various other bits...
Note: Please adjust the brightness and contrast on your monitor so that you see each bar of the color bar as a distinct shade. The darkest one should be Black (not dark gray), the lightest White.
It is critical that your monitor be adjusted properly in order to see these images correctly.
Note: Ocasionally I run images and highlight views of subjects which have a scientifically controversial nature. I do not espouse any of these ideas over the more scientifically accepted theories. I feel that a little controversy breeds healthier discussion.