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Imaging telescope or lens:Planewave CDK24
Imaging camera:FLI Proline 16803
Guiding camera:Starlight Xpress Ultrastar
Integration: 12.8 hours
Flat darks: ~80
Avg. Moon age: 19.51 days
Avg. Moon phase: 0.81%
Mean SQM: 21.40
Astrometry.net job: 3374915
RA center: 3h 46' 51"
DEC center: +68° 5' 47"
Pixel scale: 1.837 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: -179.661 degrees
Field radius: 0.365 degrees
Locations: KG Observatory, Julian, CA, United States
Data source: Backyard
IC 342 is a challenging target. Although it's bright, the galaxy sits near the equator of the Milky Way's galactic disk, where the sky is thick with glowing cosmic gas, bright stars, and dark, obscuring dust.
In order to see the intricate spiral structure of IC 342, you must gaze through a large amount of material contained within our own galaxy—no easy feat! As a result IC 342 is relatively difficult to spot and image, giving rise to its intriguing nickname: the "Hidden Galaxy."
Located very close to the Milky Way at 10.7 million light years distant from Earth, this sweeping spiral galaxy would be among the brightest in the sky were it not for its dust-obscured location. The galaxy is very active, as indicated by the range of colors.
A beautiful mixture of hot, blue star-forming regions, redder, cooler regions of gas, and dark lanes of opaque dust can be seen, all swirling together around a bright core. In 2003, astronomers confirmed this core to be a specific type of central region known as an HII nucleus—a name that indicates the presence of ionized hydrogen—that is likely to be creating many hot new stars.
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