Interacting Galaxies NGC 3169 and NGC 3166
Published 15 Apr 2021

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Full image field here: Un-cropped full resolution

About this object

The image above highlights the galaxies NGC 3169 and NGC 3166, two interacting galaxies in the constellation Sextans. NGC 3169 is the galaxy on the left and it is interacting gravitationally with NGC 3166. Faint tidal tails of stars are detached from the galaxy and the outer halo is disrupted. Many dust lanes can also be seen closer to the core. Gravity has stripped these streams of stars away from the outer halo of NGC 3169. NGC 3169 and 3166 are members of the Leo I group of galaxies and are part of the Virgo super cluster. NGC 3169 is 75 million light years distant and the distance between the two galaxies is 50 thousand light years, one half the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy. Smaller galaxy NGC 3165 is just left and below NGC 3166.

Part of the color exposures for this image were taken at Starry Night Ranch near Okeechobee FL in Jan 2021 and the rest from home. The image above is a crop of a much larger field of view. Within the field of view are many faint PGC galaxies and many others including some galaxy clusters that are un-cataloged. To see the full res 60 megapix un-cropped image of the full field of view click
here or the link above. In the full res image you can find many faint and tiny galaxies. The image resolution is .64 arcsec/pixel. I also included an annotated image labeling the cataloged galaxies.
Image Details

  • Optics : Stellarvue SVX 152T refractor @f8 1200mm FL
  • Mount: Paramount MYT
  • Camera: ZWO ASI6200
  • Filters: Chroma 50mm LRGB
  • Exposure (min): LRGB 217:228:171:166 13 hrs, 2x2 binning
  • Automation Control: The Sky X, Voyager
  • Guiding: StarlightXpress Lodestar X2
  • Processing: PixInsight 1.8,
  • Location: Starry Night Ranch, Okeechobee, Fl and Stark Bayou Observatory, Ocean Springs, MS
  • Sky: Starry Night Ranch: 21, dark, Home, typical SQM 19.6-20.1, Bortle 5, Suburban
  • Date: 15 Jan - 2 Apr 2021
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