The Details
NGC 5033 in Canes Venatici
12.5" RCOS Ritchey-Chretien at f/6.9
Astro-Physics 1200 GTO
Tru-Balance LRGB filter set
09 March 2005
Red Cloud Road, Eastern Riverside County CA
L 9 x 600 sec 1x1 bin; RGB 5 x 300 sec, 2x2 bin
Maxim DL/CCD, Registar, Photoshop, Neat Image 4.4 Pro+
Field of View: 18’15" x 12’46" centered on RA 13h13m30.7s
DEC +36°35’43” (2000.0) North angle 90.2 °; east 90° CCW from north

NGC 5033 is a hauntingly beautiful galaxy located approximately 40 million lights years away in the direction of the constellation Canes Venatici. The delicate spiral arms splayed outward in a unique curving fashion contrasted against the intricate dust lanes surrounding the galaxy's core give this object an ethereal quality. Speeding away from us at 1.88 million mph, this galaxy belongs to a class of objects known as Seyfert galaxies. Seyfert galaxies are characterized by what astronomers call Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), revealing themselves by peculiar high-ionization emission lines in their spectra that are superimposed over the usual stellar absorption-line spectra found in typical galaxies. Current thinking suggests that AGN's are the result of a supermassive object or black hole that is accreting material into its powerful and relentless grip, heating it to incredible temperatures as it spirals into the belly of the beast.

The graceful and filamentary spider-like arms of NGC 5033 are sprinkled with many obvious HII areas, lit up like tiny jewels across the chasm of interstellar space to make known their existence as areas of active starbirth. Framed in a rich and colorful star field, close examination of the above image reveals a host of faint and far-flung island universes populating deep space in this area of the sky.

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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