Photographing the Leo-Triplet with a Nikon D90 and 135mm Lens

After my initial attempts at M81 (and missing my target), I had a second attempt just a few days later on May 16, 2020. Again, the Camera in use was my Nikon D90 with a Nikkor Zoom Lens set to 135 mm.

This time, the target was the southern region of Leo, specifically the area where I assumed the “Leo Triplet” to be. The “Leo Triplet”, that are three galaxies very closely together: Messier 65, Messier 66, and NGC 3628.

The “Leo Triplet”, taken with a Nikon D90 and a 135mm lens (52 x 30s)

This time, my aim was spot on, which is not too difficult since a bright star, Theta Leonis (also known as “Chertan”) was a good aiming point. And this is the annotated version:

The annotated version of the “Leo Triplet”

Zooming in to a 1:1 ratio, this time, the structure of the spiral galaxies becomes “visible” (though you still need a good idea of what you are looking at) – but again: just a DSLR and a 135 mm lens.

The 1:1 Crop of the “Leo Triplet”

If you want to try for yourself – here is the finding chart:

The fining chart for the “Leo Triplet”, showing the orientation and size of the Nikon’s capture.
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