Fiona Morris wins the Photo of the Week for April 1, 2022, with her image of the interacting spiral galaxies that belong to the Leo Triplet.
The Leo Triplet is a group of interacting spiral galaxies that can be found within the constellation Leo, approximately 35 million light-years from Earth.
Messier 66 (pictured in the bottom-right of the photo), is the brightest and largest member of the trio. It is known for its unusual anatomy of having asymmetric spiral arms and a displaced core that scientists believe is caused by the gravitational pull of the other members of the trio.
Although Messier 65 (pictured in the top-right of the photo) is under the gravitational influence of its neighbours, it still looks like a very “normal” Sa type spiral and seems to have felt little effect.
The last member of the Leo Triplet is NGC 3628 (pictured on the far left of the photo). It is known as the Hamburger Galaxy or Sarah’s Galaxy, and was catalogued by William Herschel in 1784. The galaxy also features a small, potential satellite galaxy nearby and a faint but extensive tidal tail.
Morris captured this image of the Leo Triplet on March 3, 2022, from River Philip, Nova Scotia. She photographed the galaxies using a ZWO ASI183MC Pro camera and Sky-Watcher Quattro 200P telescope.
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