Messier 65 or M65 (also designated NGC 3623) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Leo. It has an apparent visual magnitude of 9.3 and its angular diameter is 8x1.5 arc-minutes. M65 lies at an estimated distance of 35 million light years. The Equinox 2000 coordinates are RA= 11h 18.9m, Dec= +13° 05´ which makes M65 best seen during the spring. The Messier Spring Star Chart shows the position of all Messier objects visible during that season.

The image above shows the uncropped view of M65 (right), M66 (left) and NGC 3628 (top) through the Takahashi E-180 Astrograph (North is up). A 3x enlargement of this image centered on M65 appears to the right. For a higher magnification view of M65 through the ASA N12 Corrected Newtonian Astrograph, see M65 (ASA N12).

This spiral galaxy was discovered by Messier in 1780. Together with M66 and NGC 3628, the three galaxies are referred to as the Leo Triplet or the Trio in Leo. According to Stoyan et al. (2010), the distance of M65 is 32.8 million light years and its diameter is 94,000 light years.

For more information, see the Messier Catalog as well as specific entries for M65 in Wikipedia and SEDS.

Messier's Description of M65

March 1, 1780
`Nebula discovered in Leo: It is very faint and contains no star.'

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