NGC 3628 The Hamburger Galaxy
Distance: 35 Million Light Years
Size: 14 x 3.6 Arc Minutes
Galaxy Type: Spiral sc
Telescope: 10” RC
Mount: AP 900
Camera: QSI 683
Exposure: L 11×600 Bin 1, RGB 18×300 Bin 2
NGC 3628 is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Leo. It is an edge on galaxy with a dark dusty belt in the middle that is sandwiched by a much lighter halo giving it the popular nickname, the Hamburger galaxy. NGC 3628 has a couple interesting features such as starburst activity and a long tidal tail. The starburst activity was studied in 1996 and it was determined that the source originated near the galaxy core. This starburst activity accounts for accelerated star formation in the galaxy. The long tidal tail was studied in 1998 and was measured at 80,000 parsecs in length with four active star formation regions. The tidal tail also consists of similar material as the galactic core of NGC 3628 leading to the conclusion that it may have originated from NGC 3628. The Hamburger galaxy also contains globular clusters. A study from 2003 that concentrated on listing globular clusters in edge on galaxies came up with a count of 497 +/- 110 globular clusters in the halo of NGC 3628.
NGC 3628 is also part of the Leo Trio of galaxies. This is a trio of galaxies listed as Messier 65, Messier 66, and NGC 3628. All three galaxies are listed at 35 million light years from earth and all three are spiral galaxies. Visually and when viewed with amateur equipment the Hamburger galaxy is my favorite of the three.
This image was captured at a dark sky site with a limiting magnitude of 6.48 with a SQM of 20.86. This image was captured in one night and the conditions were clear and dry but with a steady wind of 5 MPH gusting to 15 MPH.