Field of Science


Hubble's View Of Messier 66's Dust Lanes, Bright Star Clusters And Spiral Arms

Messier 66 is the largest of the Leo Triplets (a trio of spiral galaxies) and is distinguished by its asymmetric spiral arms which appear to climb above M 66's main disc and its seemingly displaced core. Both distortions are believed to be the result of the gravitational pull of its two galactic siblings, M 65 and NGC 3628. Further, with three supernovae since 1989, including one as recently as 2009, M 66 is host to a relatively exceptional number of supernovae explosions.

Composite image of the Messier 66 Galaxy taken by the Hubble Space TelescopeCredit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration.

Leo TripletWide-field view of Messier 66. Credit: NASA, ESA and and Digitized Sky Survey 2.