M66

Credits: Scott Anttila

Messier 66 (M66), the brightest and largest member of the Leo Triplet of galaxies, is an intermediate spiral galaxy located in Leo constellation. The galaxy lies at a distance of about 36 million light years from Earth and has an apparent magnitude of 8.9. It has the designation NGC 3627 in the New General Catalogue.

Facts about M66 by Keith Turnecliff

Messier 66 and Messier 65 are visible even in small binoculars, which reveal two fuzzy patches of light, Small telescopes will show the galaxies’ oval shapes and brighter centres. Medium-sized telescopes will reveal the bright cores more clearly, while 10-inch and larger telescopes will show hints of the spiral arms.
The best time of year to observe M66 is during the months of March, April and May.

This star chart represents the view from Long Itchington for mid April at 10pm.
Credits: Image courtesy of Starry Night Pro Plus 8, researched and implemented by Keith Turnecliff.