The galaxy NGC3628 is part of the Leo Triplet and maybe one of the most interesting bright galaxies.
One striking artefact associated with this galaxy is a long tidal star tail some 300,000 light-years long. NGC3628 is about 160,000 light-years long. Probably the tail consists of stars that were torn of the galaxy when a small dwarf galaxy passed or when a close encounter of NGC3628 and M66 took place.
The mass of the tail is about 15% of that of the large galaxy, it’s surface brightness is about 26,5mag/arcsec^2. The stars in tail have an age of several hundred million years – corresponding to an close encounter of NGC3628 and M66 about 800 Million years ago.
In 2014, a tidal dwarf galaxy was discovered at the end of the tail.
Image orientation: North is on the right side.
Telescope: Skywatcher Esprit Apo Refractor 80mm @ f/4 on Losmandy G11 mount.
Camera: Moravian G2-8300FW @ -25°C.
Exposure: LRGB: 59x300s / 28x180s / 18x180s / 16x180s.Total exposure time: 8h01m.
Location: Rhein-Main area, Germany.