M66 is a member of the Leo Triplet or M66 Group of three galaxies, which consists of M65, M66, and NGC 3628.  These galaxies are located at a distance of about 35 million light years.  M66 is an Sb-type elliptical galaxy with deformed spiral arms.  This deformation is probably the result of encounters with its local galaxies.  More information and additional images of this galaxy can be found at the Messier Index - M66.  

 The above image is part of the wider field of both M65 and M66 seen below.   The image is a 66 minute composite image from multiple 15-second exposures taken on 24 April 2008 with a William Optics FLT110 f.7 4.3" refractor and an SXV-H9 CCD.  

M65 and M66

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