Click here for a full resolution image of IC 342 (990 KB)



The Details
IC 342 in Camelopardalis
Astro-Physics 160 EDF refractor at f/7.5
Astro-Physics 1200 GTO
Tru-Balance LRGB filter set
21 October 2006
Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, Yuma County - Southwestern Arizona
L 5 x 900 sec 1x1 bin; RGB 4 x 300 sec, 2x2 bin
Maxim DL/CCD, Registar, Photoshop CS2
Field of View: 32'21" x 22'55" centered on RA 03h46m44s
DEC+68°06’28” (2000.0) . North angle 338.0 °; east 90° CCW from north

Discovered in 1890, IC 342 lies approximately 6 million light years from Earth and is the dominant member of a collection of galaxies known as the Maffei Group. The Maffei Group is located just beyond our Local Group of galaxies and has likely played a direct role in the evolution of our Local Group by close interactions occuring several billion years ago. Positioned essentially in line with the galactic plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, the light emanating from the Maffei Group suffers severe extinction as it passes through the obscuring dust of our galaxy, resulting in the muted reddish-yellow coloration seen in the above image. The two other dominant members of this nearly 20 galaxy family, Maffei I and II, were not discovered until 1968 because of their hidden position along the line of sight of the Milky Way’s dust-choked galactic plane. A sprinkling of colorful foreground stars in the above image contrast sharply with the ghostly reddish glow of the galaxy itself.




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