Simcoe Skies Astronomy

M63 - NGC 5055 (the Sunflower Galaxy)

Location: Canes Venatici (Hunting Dogs)
Distance: 37 Million light years
Magnitude: 9.3
Apparent Size: 12.6' x 7.2'

For more information on M63 from Wikipedia, click here

M63 - July 2009

M63 with DSI-2C camera

Date: July 12/09
Camera: Meade DSI-2C
Filters: built-in IR filter, Orion SKYGLOW filter
Settings: 107 frames; Gain=63; Offset=0
Exposure time: 45 seconds
Guiding: Yes - RA only (using Meade ETX-90 and DSI-PRO)
Optical Multiplier: 1x

Notes: Higher resolution than previous images, and dust lanes are better defined. Competing with 72% illuminated moon. Slightly elongated stars suggest polar misalignment. A shot without the moon and without the filters in future may bring out more detail.

M63 Latest Image

Date: Aug 12/06
Settings: 15 frames, A:0 B:50 Gn:86 Gm:0 T:20s F:5fps Color:R50B25
Camera Mode: RAW
Filters: None
Optical Multiplier: 1x

Notes: The moon was over 80% full and M63 was setting when I took this shot. Amazing detail for only 15 frames. This was my first real run with the camera in RAW mode, which led to the absence of star "ears" and got rid of darkened edges of the galactic core, all artifacts of camera color image interpolation. Additional processing in Photoshop, noise reduction using NeatImage.


M63 2nd attempt

Date: May 27/06
Exposures: 83
Exposure length: 18 seconds
Amp on setting: OFF
Brightness: 100
Gain: 60
Gamma: 0
Filters: Orion Skyglow
Optical Multiplier: .6x Focal Reducer

Notes: A longer exposure would bring out more detail.


Date: July 2/05
Exposures: 32 of 55
Exposure length: 14 seconds
Amp on setting: OFF
Brightness: 100
Gain: 50
Gamma: not recorded
Processing: Acquired, stacked, histogram adjusted in K3CCDtools, noise reduction in NeatImage, color adjusted in Photoshop.

Notes: Shot VERY low in the sky, washed out by the atmosphere and rising moon. Nevertheless, some dust lanes are visible.

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