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Located in the Leo constellation, NGC 3628 is relatively bright, edge on spiral galaxy about 35 million light years away. Notable features are a broad equatorial dust band, which obscures the central region, and a very faint, 300,000 light years long, tidal tale of stars. It is also known as the Hamburger galaxy.

The neighbourhood also contains two other large galaxies, M65 and M66, which together with NGC 3628 form the Leo triplet.  Gravitational interactions with these galaxies are believed to be responsible for the warped disk and tidal tale. Spectroscopic analysis indicates that the stars in NGC 3628’s disk orbit in the opposite direction to the gas, which was probably caused by a close encounter with M66 800 million years ago, which is also thought to have also created the vast tidal tail.

The LRGB image below was taken with my Esprit 150 and represents 9.5 hours integration time. Apart from the galaxy features described above, if you look closely at the image you can see that I’ve also managed to capture some pinkish/red HII star forming regions in the central region of the galaxy.


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