Discovered by Mechain in 1780 at the same time as M65, M66 is an impressive Spiral Galaxy of type Sb which presents itself almost face on with several coarse spiral arms. At magnitude 8.9 and of size 9' x 4.2', it is visible in most amateur 'scopes. It forms a pair with M65, just 20' away and NGC3628, an edge-on galaxy fainter than M65 and M66 which shows a dark rift. All three are visible in the same low power field of view. M66 is part of the Leo group of galaxies and lies some 30 million light years away.
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