The Details
Object
M64 The Black-Eye Galaxy in Coma Berenices
Optics
Meade 16"LX200 at f/6.3
Platform
Meade LX 200 Mount
Camera
SBIG ST-8XE and AO-7 Adaptive Optics Unit
Filters
SBIG LRGB filter set
Date
19 June 2003
Location
Mount Wilson Observatory, Mount Wilson CA
Exposure
L 3 x 600 sec, 1x1 bin; RG 3 x 300 sec, B 3 x 480 sec 2x2 bin
Software
Maxim DL/CCD, Photoshop
Orientation
Field of View: 07’ x 05 ’ centered on RA 12h56m58s
DEC 21°41’28”. North angle 181.47 °; east 90° CW from north
Notes
Discovered by Johann Bode in 1779, the Black-Eye Galaxy is noted for a conspicuous dark band of absorbing dust obscuring background features near the core. One theory of this feature is that a former companion galaxy accreted material onto its larger neighbor and it has yet to settle into the orbital plane of the disc, resulting in the present structure we see today. Two counter-rotating discs of stars have been observed in this galaxy, with the interface between these two discs being an area of intense star birth activity which are visible as the blue knots in the prominent dust lane. M64 is approximately 19 million light years distant and spans about 51,000 light years across its major axis.

 

 

 

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