The Leo Triplet (also known as the M66 Group and Leo Trio) is a small group of galaxies about 35 million light-years away in the constellation Leo. This galaxy group consists of the spiral galaxies M65, M66, and NGC 3628.

These three galaxies are engaged in a gravitational tug of war, making this a very interesting deep-sky formation. Each one is a spiral galaxy. NGC 3628’s (right in image) appearance has the nickname ‘the Hamburger Galaxy’ among backyard astronomers and astrophotographers.

Unfortunately due to trees I’m not able to see and image the Leo Trio for very long. I have to wait until near the end of galaxy season for this area of sky to be visible to me. It then sets fast. So I was only able to get 3 hours and 45min of data. But I think it stilled turned out good!


Skywatcher Esprit 100mm F5.5 Triplet Refractor
QHY268M CMOS Camera (, 26mp, 3.76um @ -10C
QHY CFW3-L 7 position
Optolong LRGB filters
Skywatcher EQ6 mount / Skyshed Pier (
Pegasus Astro Focus Cube
Orion Starshoot autoguider / PHD2
NINA 1.11 (nightly build) for acquisition
Processed in PixInsight
Seeing and transparency: average
Total integration time: 3hr 45in
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

The image below is a redo of the data. I used a tighter crop and some slightly different PixInsight techniques to process it. 

And another redo of this data in 2022 produced this result below…

Leo Triplet galaxies

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