Contains:  M 96, NGC 3368

Image of the day 05/08/2018

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    M96 - An Asymmetric Spiral, 





    
        

            Jason Guenzel
    M96 - An Asymmetric Spiral

    M96 - An Asymmetric Spiral

    Technical card

    Resolution: 3390x2630

    Dates:March 26, 2018April 7, 2018April 20, 2018April 21, 2018

    Frames:
    Blue: 20x240" -20C bin 1x1
    Green: 20x240" -20C bin 1x1
    Luminance: 160x180" -20C bin 1x1
    Red: 22x240" -20C bin 1x1

    Integration: 12.1 hours

    Darks: ~50

    Flats: ~50

    Bias: ~256

    Avg. Moon age: 10.36 days

    Avg. Moon phase: 46.50%

    Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 5.00

    Astrometry.net job: 2039939

    RA center: 161.692 degrees

    DEC center: 11.819 degrees

    Pixel scale: 0.527 arcsec/pixel

    Orientation: 272.136 degrees

    Field radius: 0.314 degrees

    Data source: Unknown

    Description

    M96 lies about 35 million light years away in Leo. The bright inner core is slightly displaced from the outer extended halo. This asymmetric nature hints at past gravitational interactions with neighbors. The inner core is significantly brighter than the outer diffuse arms and a more notable feature is the bright blue ring of starburst activity that surrounds this core.

    One interesting aspect of this image is the appearance of a sizable edge-on background galaxy situated behind M96’s faint arm (near the top of the galaxy in this image). This galaxy is 15-20 times more distant by some estimates and shines bright enough to be clearly seen through the foreground stars and dust.

    This image was a long time in the making. The RGB data needed a lot of help, but the weather was not allowing me to capture more. So, at some point I called it off and processed what I had.

    Enjoy!

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    Thirteen
    Jason Guenzel
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    M96 - An Asymmetric Spiral, 





    
        

            Jason Guenzel