The Details
Object
M63 The Sunflower Galaxy in Canes Venatici
Optics
12.5" RCOS Ritchey-Chretien at f/6.9
Platform
Astro-Physics 1200 GTO
Camera
SBIG ST-10XME
Filters
Tru-Balance LRGB filter set
Date
12 March 2005
Location
Red Cloud Road, Eastern Riverside County CA
Exposure
L 19 x 300 sec 1x1 bin; RGB 4 x 300 sec, 2x2 bin
Software
Maxim DL/CCD, Registar, Photoshop, Neat Image 4.4 Pro+
Orientation
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
Notes

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.

 

 

 

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