Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Canes Venatici (CVn)  ·  Contains:  M 63  ·  NGC 5055  ·  Sunflower Galaxy
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M63 - the flowers are blooming, 



    
        

            Tom Gray
M63 - the flowers are blooming
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M63 - the flowers are blooming

Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
M63 - the flowers are blooming, 



    
        

            Tom Gray
M63 - the flowers are blooming
Powered byPixInsight

M63 - the flowers are blooming

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Meade 2080 SCT 8" LX5

Imaging cameras: Meade DSI 3 Pro

Mounts: Meade Fork mount w/wedge Meade

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Meade 8x50mm Finder/Guider

Guiding cameras: Orion Starshoot autoguider

Focal reducers: Meade f6.3 focal reducer/field flattener Meade 0.63x Reducer

Software: Han Klein ASTAP v0.915  ·  SiliconFields / Ivo Jager Startools v1.7  ·  PHD2 Guiding V 2.6  ·  Meade Envisage V4.10

Filters: Meade RGB-IR Cut 1.25"

Accessory: Bahtinov Mask  ·  Homemade ST4 autoguider  ·  Finder guider 8x50 Finder Scope


Dates:April 4, 2021

Frames:
Meade Blue Filter for CCD: 22x60" bin 2x2
Meade Green Filter for CCD: 25x60" bin 2x2
Meade RGB-IR Cut 1.25": 59x120" bin 1x1
Meade Red Filter for CCD: 22x60" bin 2x2

Integration: 3.1 hours

Flats: ~20

Avg. Moon age: 22.23 days

Avg. Moon phase: 49.13%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 4.00


Basic astrometry details

Astrometry.net job: 4379321

RA center: 13h 15' 47"

DEC center: +42° 1' 51"

Pixel scale: 0.924 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 356.518 degrees

Field radius: 0.214 degrees


Resolution: 1339x998

Locations: Home 'observatory' (Bortle 5), Derbyshire, United Kingdom

Data source: Backyard

Description

M63 has a fairly low surface brightness and benefits from longer exposures. I managed a 3 hour integration using 2m subs, which was all the sky conditions would allow - clear, dark but not transparent. Nevertheless pleased to get some detail in the core, clear flocculation, and perhaps a hint of the outer region - much longer exposures will be needed to capture the outer halo and long star streams that surround this celestial flower.

M63 is a flocculent galaxy, albeit boasts 2 spiral arms in near IR. Distance estimates vary, but it lies ~30m LY from earth and spans about 100,000LY (similar to our own Milky Way galaxy) - it is thought to contain ~400 billion stars!

This version is captured in Envisage, aligned and stacked in Nebulosity and processed in Startools. Some of my flats for 2x2 binned RGB frames were poor and I have accentuated the galaxy structure, and applied a little healing to remove unsightly artefacts in the background. I will try pre-processing in ASTAP to see if I get a better result, although usually at the cost of losing quite a few frames due to poorer quality or failure to align. As ever, comments and suggestions welcome.

Comments

Revisions

  • Final
    M63 - the flowers are blooming, 



    
        

            Tom Gray
    Original
  • M63 - the flowers are blooming, 



    
        

            Tom Gray
    B

B

Description: This mono version re-processed from scratch - taking the best 44 x 120s frames, aligned and combined in ASTAP and processed in Startools. Gentle HDR brighten, moderate sharpen and contrast to push back the noise. Apart from the obvious artefacts around the brighter stars (a fault of the Meade DSI and/or Envisage image capture program), I'm pleased with the extra detail and sharpness in the core of this spectacular galaxy.

Uploaded: ...

Sky plot

Sky plot

Histogram

M63 - the flowers are blooming, 



    
        

            Tom Gray