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The  Leo  Trio:  M65,  M66,  and  NGC 3628

Galaxies  in  Leo

     M65 is the spiral galaxy at upper right, M66 the spiral at lower right, and NGC 3628 the edge-on galaxy at the left. The total field of view is approximately 45 arcmin high x 65 arcmin wide. North is at upper left in this image.

     I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of dust lane detail brought out by the DDP processing in MaxIm. Presumably the long total exposure (collected over two nights) helped. However, the raw frames of this CCD image were plagued by gradients and required extensive manipulation before and after combination to neutralize the background sky color. 

 Date  2003-02-07, -08
 Scope

 Astro-Physics 130 EDFs refractor at f/6  with ST-10XME CCD camera at -15 C on the 

  A-P 1200 GTO  mount.   Guided with  the internal guide chip. SBIG CFW-8 filter wheel.         

 Exposure

 Twenty 5 min exposures R and G, seventeen 5 minute B exposures (cut short by weather).  Total 285 minutes.

 Processing  

 Raw frames calibrated and debloomed with Wodaski's Debloomer plug-in in MaxIm 3.09. Master R, G, and B

  frames were then created and Wodaski's gradient removal processing was then applied to the individual color

  masters.  The RGB color combine was then carried out  in MaxIm. The image was  then imported into Photoshop

  and adjusted with Levels, Curves, and Color correction. Finally, smoothing was applied with SGBNR.

 

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