NGC 3628 (Leo)

Object image
Fig.1 - Cosmic hamburger: NGC 3628 with its dark lane of dust and gas sandwiched between the glowing galactic disks, photographed with a 16-inch f/4.5 Dob on an equatorial platform.
Object name: Constellation: Coordinates: Apparent size: Visual brightness:
NGC 3628 Leo 11h20m / +13°35' 14'x3.6' 9.5 mag

The unbarred spiral galaxy NGC 3628 ("Hamburger Galaxy", "Sarah's Galaxy") in the constellation Leo. Along with Messier 65 and Messier 66, it forms the Leo Triplet, a small group of galaxies. Its most conspicuous feature is the broad and obscuring band of dust located along the outer edge of its spiral arms, effectively transecting the galaxy to the view from Earth. The galaxy is viewed edge-on and gravitational interactions with its neighbors might be what causes its unique shape. A very faint, 300,000 light-years long tidal tail of stars and HII regions can be seen in long exposures. Traces of it can be glimpsed in the image above (Fig.1) to the upper left of the galaxy. NGC 3628 is roughly 35 million light-years from Earth, measures 145'000 light-years across and was discovered by German-born British astronomer William Herschel in 1784 (source: Wikipedia).

Fifty 3-minute exposures (150 minutes total exposure) at gain 100 taken on March 26, 2022 and on April 28, 2022, were added for this shot with the Astro Pixel Processor (APP) software and the final image processing was done in Photoshop. Darks, flats, bias and dark flats were used.

Equipment: Cooled ASI 2600MC Pro camera, TeleVue Paracorr Type II coma corrector, 16" f/4.5 "Ninja" dobsonian telescope riding on a dual-axis Tom Osypowski equatorial platform, Lacerta MGEN autoguider, Lacerta off axis system.

Search chart
Fig.2 - Search chart for NGC 3628. Map © 2022 "The Mag-7 Star Atlas Project", Map is slightly modified. The map can be downloaded here.