Thursday, April 13, 2017

M63 - Sunflower Galaxy

Messier 63 (a.k.a. M63, NGC 5055, or the Sunflower Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici.  The galaxy contains a central disc surrounded by many short spiral arm segments. It is part of the M51 Group, a group of galaxies that also includes M51 (the 'Whirlpool Galaxy') which is next on my target list.  Also of note, in 1971, a supernova with a magnitude of 11.8 appeared in one of the arms of M63 (source: wikipedia).

This was last of the nine new Messier objects (eleven counting M81 and M82) I collected in March before the moon reappeared and made deep sky imaging less desirable. It also represents the 68th Messier objects I have captured, only 42 left.  Website:


Wide Field

M63 - Sunflower Galaxy
Location: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, CT
Date: 4-2-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm
f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo Telescope Mount
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 57 x 90s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 5 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools, StarTools.

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