The Details
M63 The Sunflower Galaxy in Canes Venatici
12.5" RCOS Ritchey-Chretien at f/6.9
Astro-Physics 1200 GTO
Tru-Balance LRGB filter set
12 March 2005
Red Cloud Road, Eastern Riverside County CA
L 19 x 300 sec 1x1 bin; RGB 4 x 300 sec, 2x2 bin
Maxim DL/CCD, Registar, Photoshop, Neat Image 4.4 Pro+
Field of View: 23'44" x 15'59" centered on RA 13h15m51.4s
DEC +42°02’04” (2000.0) . North angle 3.9°; east 90° CCW from north

The Sunflower Galaxy was discovered by Pierre Mechain on June 14, 1779. Lying at a distance of about 37 million light years, this galaxy is a member of a physical grouping with the Whirlpool Galaxy M51 and a number of other smaller galaxies. Also known as NGC 5055, M63 has a visual magnitude of 8.6, surface brightness of 13.6, and an apparent size of 13.5' x 8.3'. A large, conspicuous dark lane can be seen cutting across the faint extensions of the spiral arms from the 6 to 8 o'clock position relative to the nucleus. Numerous tightly coiled arms with a wealth of detail in their dust lanes and HII areas make this object a particularly favorite target of astro-imagers. Also in the field of view is the very faint irregular galaxy UGCA 342 at a surface brightness of 14.7, visible just below the bright star at the far right center of the image. The faint glow of UGCA 342 is elongated in a right-left direction (94° PA), subtending an arc of about 1.6' x 0.6'.

This image was the result of a collaborative effort between Dave Jurasevich and David Held, sharing data acquisition and processing tasks.




Home | Image Gallery | Equipment | Observing Sites | About Dave | Links | Contact Me


Site and content copyright ©2004 David M. Jurasevich. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of these images are permitted without prior approval of the author.