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NGC 3627 (7,784 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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NGC 3627 (in Leo Triplet)

NGC 3627, Arp 317A, Arp 16, Ark 288, LEDA 34695, MCG+02-29-019, UGC 6346, VV 308a, VV 308, Messier 66 (in Leo Triplet), h 857, h 875, GC 2377

RA: 11h 20m 15.07s
Dec: +12° 59′ 21.6″

Con: Leo
Ch: MSA:728, U2:191, SA:13


(reference key)

Type: galaxy (AGN LINER-type), Sb

Mag: B=8.9, V=?

Size: 8.317′ x 4.168′
PA: 173°

Image gallery

Photos  (1)

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Historical observations

NGC/IC Dreyer (1888, 1895, 1908)

The NGC calls it "bright, very large, much elongated PA 150 degrees, much brighter in the middle, 2 stars N.p."

William Herschel

In the Appendix to the 1912 'Scientific Papers of Sir William Herschel' this object is described as "1784, April 12. A vB, mE nebula of an irregular figure the extension is chiefly in the direction of the meridian and the greatest brightness near the middle."

Published comments


A supernova erupted in this galaxy in 1973 (14.5v).

Arp (1966)

Listed as No. 16 in Arp's "Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies" (Astrophysical Journal Supplement, vol. 14, 1966.) He remarks "See also No. 317. Large concentration at end of southern arm."

Arp (1966)

Together with NGC 3623 and NGC 3628 it is listed as No. 317 in Arp's "Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies" (Astrophysical Journal Supplement, vol. 14, 1966.)

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 10.0 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads S,HISB,BM,PD,DKPCHS.

Sandage & Tammann (1975)

Sandage, A. & Tammann, G. A. (1975) Steps toward the Hubble constant. V - The Hubble constant from nearby galaxies and the regularity of the local velocity field. ApJ, 196, 313-328. [1975ApJ...196..313S]

Sandage and Tammann (1975, Astrophysical Journal, 196, 313-328) includes this galaxy in the Leo Group. Members include NGC 3338, NGC 3351, NGC 3368, NGC 3377, NGC 3379, NGC 3384, NGC 3389, NGC 3412, NGC 3489, NGC 3593, NGC 3596, NGC 3605, NGC 3607, NGC 3608, NGC 3623, NGC 3626, NGC 3627, NGC 3628, NGC 3686 & NGC 3810.

Sandage, A. (1961) The Hubble Atlas of Galaxies

This galaxy appears on page 23 of "The Hubble Atlas of Galaxies" by Allan Sandage (1961, Washington, DC).

Doig, P. (1925)

Doig, P. (1925) Notes on the nebulae and clusters in Webb's 'Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes' (Sixth edition, Vol.ii). Part II. M.N.R.A.S., 35(8), 280.

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975) M66 Group

de Vaucouleurs, G. (1975) Nearby groups of galaxies. In: Kuiper, G. (ed) Stars and Stellar Systems. Volume 9: Galaxies and the Universe. Chapter 14, p557.

M66 Group: This is the well-known compact triplet of spirals including M65 (NGC 3623), M66 (NGC 3627) and NGC 3628 together with several outlying systems including probably NGC 3593, NGC 3596, and NGC 3666, and possibly NGC 3485, NGC 3489, NGC 3506 and NGC 3547.

Modern observations

Walter Scott Houston

Hartung notes: "Messier discovered this object in 1780; it is 21' following M65 and yet a comet which he was observing passed between them on Nov 1-2, 1773, without his discovering either because of the comet's brightness . . 30cm shows it as a long spindle 5' x 1.5' in pa 150 deg with very faint ends, rising to a broad elliptical centre containing a small nucleus. Small apertures show the central region only."

Houston notes: "M66 is more conspicuous than M65 (NGC 3623) and is usually visible in a 2-inch finder."

Ware, Donald J

NGC 3627 M-66 Donald J. Ware:"Smaller than M-65, this galaxy is wider, about 6'x3', and brighter. It also has a bright core, and is extended in the southeastern direction. Averted vision at reveals some mottling and indications of spiral structure."

Shaffer, Alan (IAAC)

Observer: Alan Shaffer (e-mail: milkyway@gte.net, web: http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/3693/)

Instrument: 10-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector Location: Redondo Beach, California, US

Light pollution: severe Transparency: good Seeing: fair

Time: Sat Apr 12 17:30:00 1997 UT Obs. no.: 119

Both M66 and M65 were in my field of view. This was my first look at two galaxies in the same field. M66 & M65 were in a small but noticable star field of 15-30 stars that seperated them. This star field was small and only noticable around the galaxies. Both were a fuzzy patch with little feature under the conditions fo the sky. However, I could tell the difference by the magnitude and angular tilt and seperation. Both were easy to find due to the lack of any other activity in the field of view. This was a fun object to observe and can't wait to visit again under better sky conditions.

Brian Skiff

= M66

7x35mm - seems br due to sup *. `nebulous *' aspect. BS, 28Apr1992, TSP.

7cm - clearly brtst of trio, but seems sl smlr than M65. m9 * on W brtst of four-* *ism in y shape. oval seems elong approx parallel to M65, but core tilted sl wrt maj axis twd br *. struc different than M65: more diffuse, even though higher sfcbr, and zones not so well def. overall has strong even concen to occas vis sub*ar nuc. BS, 12Apr1992, Anderson Mesa.

Tom Lorenzin

Tom Lorenzin, in the electronic version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "9M; 9' x 4' extent; axis oriented N-S; 9M star near center on W flat of ellipse; mottled and dotted oblong; see photo at HAG-23; broader and brighter than, and 0.3 degree ESE of M-65; !good supernova prospect! and one was seen at 10M in early Feb., 1989, just 1' NE of core."

Danie L. Cronje


Danie Cronje, observing with 10x50 binoculars, calls it "extremely faint. Only seen with averted vision. Quite large. Seems to have brighter central part."

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf

2012 February 19, Sunday

Location: Paardeberg (ASSA Cape Centre dark sky site)[33:34.4S, 18:51.3E]

Time: 00:10 SAST

Binocs: 15x70 Celestron

NGC 3623 and NGC 3627 are two oval (3:1 ratio) smudges, lying in parallel, readily seen. NGC 3623 is elongated towards a 7th mag star (HD 98388) 20' north, and is the fainter of the two galaxies. NGC 3627 is brighter, and seems to have one or two small stars involved.

The pair is easy to find. Start from Chort (theta Leo, 3.3V), the faintest star of Leo's Triangle. They lie in the same binocular field as the star, less than 3 degrees to the south-east.

1994 February 13

1994-02-13 02:00 Die Boord, 11x80's tripd-mounted. Easily seen as a long broad bar, with a small star involved. Much brighter than M65 nearby.

Magda Streicher

(no date)

Alldays (22.50S, 20.12E, 770m).

12-inch f/10 SCT (76x, 218x, 346x)

Large, bright, elongated 5x3, slowly working up to a pretty bright nucleus. To the north west of this galaxy two bright stars, with haziness around. M66 East southeast of M65. Looks brighter but this could be slightly different as well. The light were gathered into a single star like pit. M66 is 8.9 and M 65 is 9.3 Its light is spread out and the more it is spread the dimmer it will look. As a result M65 and M66 have nearly the same surface brightness no doubt contributing to the conflict. Stars form a bridge between M65 and M66.

Richard Ford

2010 May,15 Saturday


Instrument:12"Dobsonian Reflector Telescope.

Sky Conditions:The fainter parts of the Milky way are barely visible.

Transparency of the Sky:Haziness only visible on the horizon.

Seeing:Atmosphere stable with little interference.

Limiting Magnitude:4.9.

First Impression:Galaxy.



Chart Number:No.10(Extract taken out of "Atlas of the Night Sky").

Size:26mm Eyepiece:Field Of View:57'/8=7.1'.

20mm Eyepiece:Field Of View:50'/7=7.1'.



Size in Arc Minutes:7.1'.


Brightness Profile:Low Surface Brightness.

Challenge Rating:A wonderful sight to observe this galaxy under dark skies.



This galaxy is oval and well defined with spiral structure.

This galaxy is somewhat slightly larger than M65.This galaxy's spiral like structure is easily more noticeable with bright dust lanes.It has a bright uniform nucleus.This galaxy is face-on spiral galaxy which has slightly more dust lanes.Around these groups of galaxies,I have found a few faint third to fifth magnitude stars.In this galaxy,I have found some darker areas on the outskirts of this galaxy.Some areas of uneven brightness is noticeable in the central nucleus of this galaxy.

Tom Bryant

2007-05-11 23:00:00

Observing site: Pinnacles overlook

Telescope: C-8

[11h 20m 12s, 12 59m 0s] A bright streak in the sky, like M 65

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