APOD: Messier 66 Close Up (2024 Jun 13)

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APOD: Messier 66 Close Up (2024 Jun 13)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Jun 13, 2024 4:08 am

Image Messier 66 Close Up

Explanation: Big, beautiful spiral galaxy Messier 66 lies a mere 35 million light-years away. The gorgeous island universe is about 100 thousand light-years across, similar in size to the Milky Way. This Hubble Space Telescope close-up view spans a region about 30,000 light-years wide around the galactic core. It shows the galaxy's disk dramatically inclined to our line-of-sight. Surrounding its bright core, the likely home of a supermassive black hole, obscuring dust lanes and young, blue star clusters sweep along spiral arms dotted with the tell-tale glow of pinkish star forming regions. Messier 66, also known as NGC 3627, is the brightest of the three galaxies in the gravitationally interacting Leo Triplet.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: Messier 66 Close Up (2024 Jun 13)

Post by Ann » Thu Jun 13, 2024 5:15 am


This is an old image. I remember it well, and you can tell its age from one of its authors, Hubble Heritage. The Hubble Heritage Project started in 1998 and came to an end in 2016, and I don't think that the M66 image was one of the last pictures published by Hubble Heritage, either.

You can't talk about M66 without acknowledging that it is a member of the Leo Triplet. The other two members are M65 and NGC 3682.

M66 and M65 are quite close together:


I like Sven Junge's picture of M66 and M65 because it brings out two interesting differences between these two galaxies. M66 appears distorted, but M65 is quite regular and well-formed. M66 sports several blue star clusters and stellar associations, but M65 lacks them.

The third member of the Leo Triplet is NGC 3628:


We can't see any major star formation in NGC 3628 (if it has any) because of its edge-on perspective, but it appears that M66 is the Leo Triplet member that has the highest rate of star formation. (M65 appears to have almost none.) An interesting ESO image shows the cold gas in M66, which provides the necessary fuel for star formation:


Ann
Last edited by Ann on Thu Jun 13, 2024 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Messier 66 Close Up (2024 Jun 13)

Post by Rauf » Thu Jun 13, 2024 10:10 am

Ann wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 5:15 am
This is an old image. I remember it well, and you can tell its age from one of its authors, Hubble Heritage. The Hubble Heritage Project started in 1998 and came to an end in 2016, and I don't think that the M66 image was one of the last pictures published by Hubble Heritage, either.

It was published over 14 years ago as an APOD! The explanation is a little different though.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100413.html

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Re: APOD: Messier 66 Close Up (2024 Jun 13)

Post by bystander » Thu Jun 13, 2024 12:40 pm

Ann wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 5:15 am This is an old image. I remember it well, and you can tell its age from one of its authors, Hubble Heritage. The Hubble Heritage Project started in 1998 and came to an end in 2016, and I don't think that the M66 image was one of the last pictures published by Hubble Heritage, either.
Rauf wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 10:10 am It was published over 14 years ago as an APOD! The explanation is a little different though.
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100413.html
The text (not the image) can be found here:
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap210128.html
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Re: APOD: Messier 66 Close Up (2024 Jun 13)

Post by Amos » Fri Jun 14, 2024 12:52 pm

The > link for next day leads back to 05/14/2024 instead of 06/14/2024.

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Re: APOD: Messier 66 Close Up (2024 Jun 13)

Post by VictorBorun » Fri Jun 14, 2024 6:43 pm

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Re: APOD: Messier 66 Close Up (2024 Jun 13)

Post by AVAO » Sun Jun 16, 2024 4:59 pm

Ann wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 5:15 am
We can't see any major star formation in NGC 3628 (if it has any) because of its edge-on perspective, but it appears that M66 is the Leo Triplet member that has the highest rate of star formation. (M65 appears to have almost none.) An interesting ESO image shows the cold gas in M66, which provides the necessary fuel for star formation:
Ann

ThanX Ann

I also like M66 as a meatball variant from Spitzer in IR - here mixed with JWST ,-)
Jac

Click to view full size image 1 or image 2
Click to view full size image 1 or image 2
Original data: NASA / ESA (SST/JWST/infill HST) jac berne (flickr)

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Re: APOD: Messier 66 Close Up (2024 Jun 13)

Post by Ann » Sun Jun 16, 2024 5:44 pm

AVAO wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 4:59 pm
Ann wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 5:15 am
We can't see any major star formation in NGC 3628 (if it has any) because of its edge-on perspective, but it appears that M66 is the Leo Triplet member that has the highest rate of star formation. (M65 appears to have almost none.) An interesting ESO image shows the cold gas in M66, which provides the necessary fuel for star formation:
Ann

ThanX Ann

I also like M66 as a meatball variant from Spitzer in IR - here mixed with JWST ,-)
Jac

Click to view full size image 1 or image 2
Click to view full size image 1 or image 2
Original data: NASA / ESA (SST/JWST/infill HST) jac berne (flickr)
I love your pictures as always, Jac! :D

But I can't spot the meatball in M66.


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Re: APOD: Messier 66 Close Up (2024 Jun 13)

Post by CuriousChimp » Mon Jul 01, 2024 6:46 pm

APOD Robot wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 4:08 am Image Messier 66 Close Up

Big, beautiful spiral galaxy Messier 66 lies a mere 35 million light-years away.

There are fairly good theoretical engineering designs for space-craft, mainly City-farms with sustainable populations of inhabitants - "generation ships" - that could travel at speeds ranging up to one tenth of the speed of light.

At that incredible speed, this galaxy is "only" a mere three hundred and fifty million years away.

Had we started just before the dinosaurs walked the planet, we could be arriving about now.

Of course, there are also valid reasons for thinking that friction with the interstellar gas and dust would restrict speeds in real space to less than one hundredth of the speed of light no matter how good our engineering is.

If that is so, then this galaxy is three thousand five hundred million years away and to arrive now we would have had to start our journey not very long after the Sun was born when the Earth was still coallescing. Were we to start "now" [meaning sometime within the next million years or so, small delays like that wouldn't make much of a difference in this endeavour] we would arrive just before Sol becomes a Red Giant and pasteurises this planet.

Three and a half milliards of years is a long bus-ride even for a generation ship. It may not be possible to keep a habitat habitable for so long.

This cosmos is rather large and absent magical faster than light machinery almost all of it will forever be out of reach of us and our descendants no matter how our technologies develop.