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Dates & Location

18th March - 11th April 2010 using the SMAP site at Weed, New Mexico. Elevation 7269 ft. Lat 32.8°N Long 195.5W  

Catalogue identification

NGC 3628
ARP317
Some call this the Hamburger Galaxy

Equipment Used

Officina Stellare RC400 at 3304mm focal length.
Paramount ME German equatorial Mount.
Camera SBIG ST-11000M with FW-8L filter wheel.
TheSky V6 telescope control.
CCDSoft V 5.0 camera control
.

 

Where it is in space

In the constellation of Leo, at a magnitude of 9.6 NGC 3628 can be seen through 7x50 binoculars. The Galaxy is a member of the Leo Triplet of galaxies the other members being just over half a degree to the south and south west. The galaxy is about 35 million light-years from Earth. In this image North is towards the top left.
Acquisition

Remote session using RADMIN PC control from Ravenshead, UK.
LRGB exposures:- 470:90:90:90 mins total, using 22x20 min plus 1x30min sub-exposures for Luminance and 9x10 min sub-exposures for each of the RGB at
-25°C. All images binned 1x1. AllC

  What it is

The dark dust lanes cutting across the middle of this gorgeous island universe strongly hint that NGC 3628 is a spiral galaxy seen sideways on. Although similar in size to our Milky Way galaxy at around 100,000 light years diameter, the disk is clearly seen to to distort at each edge. A faint streamer extends to the lower left and beyond the image in the direction of the other two members of the group. A very small irregular galaxy can also be seen just below the centre of the NGC 3628. The distorted shape and the inter-galactic streamer suggest that NGC 3628 is interacting gravitationally with the other spiral galaxies in the Leo triplet - M66 and M65.

Processing Methods

Image acquisition and telescope control with CCDSoft V5/ TheSky6.  
  Data reduction with CCDStack. LRGB colour channels prepared and combined in CCDStack.  
 

Master RGB image and Master Luminance images finished separately with CCDStack. Final LRGB image created using PhotoShop CS2.