I had a few hours of clear, moonless sky last night before the moon rose around midnight. I decided to take a short tour of galaxies around Ursa Major, Virgo, Leo, and Coma Berenices. I used SharpCap to live stack ten to fifteen minutes on each target. A little post processing was done in PixInsight.
Messier 64, the Black Eye Galaxy, is a galaxy 17 million light years away in Coma Berenices. It’s peculiar dark area of absorptive dust gives it a unique, sleepy look.
The Leo Triplet is a small group of galaxies in the constellation Leo. Messier 66, top left, is an intermediate spiral galaxy 31 million light years away in Leo. Gravitational interactions with a neighbor gives it an extremely high mass in its core. Messier 65, bottom left, is 35 million light years away. To the right is NGC 3628, an unbarred spiral galaxy also 35 million light years away.
Messier 90 is an intermediate spiral galaxy in Virgo. It’s 60 million light years away and is one of the brightest members of the Virgo cluster.
Nearby is Messier 100, a grand design intermediate spiral galaxy. It lives 55 million light years away in Coma Berenices.
A favorite galaxy of many imagers, Messier 101 is a brilliant face-on spiral galaxy in Ursa Major. At 21 million light years away, it’s large size of around 170,000 light years in diameter makes it a sight, even though it has relatively low surface brightness.
Finally, we have NGC 4535 (right) and NGC 4526 in Virgo. These are galactic neighbors as both are around 55 million light years from us.