Messier 66 or M66, also known as NGC 3627, is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the equatorial constellation of Leo. It was discvered by French astronomer Charles Messier on March 1, 1780, who described it as "very long and very faint".  This galaxy is a member of a small group of galaxies that includes  M65 and NGC 3628, known as the Leo Triplet, or the M66 Group. M65 and M66 make a popular pair for observers, being separated by only  20. ′
M66 has a
morphological classification of SABb, indicating a spiral shape with a weak  bar feature and loosely wound arms. The isophotal axis ratio is 0.32, indicating that it is being viewed at an angle. M66 is receding from us with a heliocentric  radial velocity of 696.3. ±12.7 km/s It lies 31  million  light-years away and is about 95 thousand light-years across with striking  dust lanes and bright star clusters along sweeping spiral arms. As of 2018, five supernovae have been observed in M66: SN 2016cok, 2009hd, 1997bs, 1989B, and 1973R. 
Gravitational interaction from its past encounter with neighboring NGC 3628 has resulted in an extremely high central mass concentration; a high
molecular to atomic mass ratio; and a resolved non-rotating clump of H I material apparently removed from one of the spiral arms. The latter feature shows up visually as an extremely prominent and unusual spiral arm and dust lane structures as originally noted in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies.
 Gallery References
^ a b
Skrutskie, M. F.; et al. (February 2006), "The Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS)", The Astronomical Journal, 131 (2): 1163–1183, Bibcode: 2006AJ....131.1163S, doi: 10.1086/498708.
^ a b
de Vaucouleurs, G.; et al. (1991), Third reference catalogue of bright galaxies, 9, New York: Springer-Verlag.
^ a b
van den Bosch, Remco C. E.; et al. (May 2015), "Hunting for Supermassive Black Holes in Nearby Galaxies With the Hobby-Eberly Telescope", The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 218 (1): 13, arXiv: , 1502.00632 Bibcode: 2015ApJS..218...10V, doi: 10.1088/0067-0049/218/1/10, 10.
^ a b
Tully, R. Brent; et al. (August 2016), "Cosmicflows-3", The Astronomical Journal, 152 (2): 21, arXiv: , 1605.01765 Bibcode: 2016AJ....152...50T, doi: 10.3847/0004-6256/152/2/50, 50.
^ a b c
Ann, H. B.; et al. (2015), "A Catalog of Visually Classified Galaxies in the Local (z ∼ 0.01) Universe", The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 217 (2): 27–49, arXiv: , 1502.03545 Bibcode: 2015ApJS..217...27A, doi: 10.1088/0067-0049/217/2/27.
"NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database", Results for NGC 3627 , retrieved . 2006-08-31
"NGC 3627". . SIMBAD Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg . Retrieved . 2018-12-02
Frommert, Hartmut; Kronberg, Christine (June 15, 2016), Spiral Galaxy M66 , retrieved . 2018-12-03
^ a b
O'Meara, Stephen James (2014), , Deep-sky companions, Cambridge University Press, p. 248, Deep-Sky Companions: The Messier Objects ISBN 1107018374 It is recorded as discovered by Pierre Méchain, but apparently this is an error.
Adam, Len (2018), , The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series, Springer, p. 290, Imaging the Messier Objects Remotely from Your Laptop ISBN 3319653857
^ Per the
small angle formula: 31 mly × tan( 9′.1 ) = ~82 kly. diameter
Sutaria, Firoza; Ray, Alak (June 2016), "No X-ray detection of SN2016cok by Swift XRT", The Astronomer's Telegram, 9189, Bibcode: 2016ATel.9189....1S.
, List of Supernovae Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams , retrieved 9 September 2015
Zhang, Xiaolei; et al. (1993), "High-Resolution CO and H i Observations of the Interacting Galaxy NGC 3627", , Astrophysical Journal 418: 100, Bibcode: 1993ApJ...418..100Z, doi: 10.1086/173374. External links
Spiral Galaxy M66
Astronomy Picture of the Day – Unusual Spiral Galaxy M66 from Hubble – 2010 April 13
Merrifield, Mike; Szymanek, Nik. "M66 – Spiral Galaxy". Deep Sky Videos. Brady Haran.
Messier 66 on WikiSky: DSS2, SDSS, GALEX, IRAS, Hydrogen α, X-Ray, Astrophoto, Sky Map, Articles and images
Coordinates: 11 h 20 m 15.0 s, +12° 59′ 30″
This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.