M65 culminates at midnight tonight. It is consequently visible throughout the entire night, making this is the best night of the year to observe it. A spiral galaxy discovered by French astronomer Charles Messier in 1780, it is the 65th object in his famous catalog of deep sky objects. It lies about 35 million light years away and can be found in the constellation Leo, midway between the bright star Chort to the north and fainter iota Leonis to the south.
At magnitude 10, you’ll need at least a pair of binoculars to see it. There are two other galaxies nearby, M66 and NGC 3268, which collectively form a small group known as the Leo Triplet.
(Click on an image to enlarge.)
The spiral galaxy M65 culminates at midnight tonight. (Magnitude 10.3. Leo, all night. See images above.)
Learn more about every upcoming astronomical event in 2015 An Astronomical Year (Kindle eBook) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Kindle eBook) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Paperback Edition).
The Amateur Astronomer’s Notebook allows astronomers to log 150 observing sessions and includes an appendix of hundreds of suggested deep sky objects.