Cookie consent

AstroBin saves small pieces of text information (cookies) on your device in order to deliver better content and for statistical purposes. You can disable the usage of cookies by changing the settings of your browser. By browsing AstroBin without changing the browser settings, you grant us permission to store that information on your device.

I agree
Contains:  M 63, NGC 5055, Sunflower galaxy
Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
M63 Spiral Galaxy in Gold, 


M63 Spiral Galaxy in Gold
Powered byPixInsight

M63 Spiral Galaxy in Gold

Technical card

Dates:March 13, 2019March 25, 2019March 31, 2019April 1, 2019April 8, 2019

Astronomik B 1.25" Type IIc: 20x300" -10C bin 1x1
Astronomik G 1.25" Type IIc: 20x300" -10C bin 1x1
Astronomik L 1.25" Type IIc: 45x600" -10C bin 1x1
Astronomik R 1.25" Type IIc: 20x300" -10C bin 1x1

Integration: 12.5 hours

Darks: ~30

Flats: ~30

Bias: ~100

Avg. Moon age: 16.03 days

Avg. Moon phase: 31.95%

Basic astrometry details job: 2649288

RA center: 13h 15' 50"

DEC center: +42° 1' 44"

Pixel scale: 0.510 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 358.655 degrees

Field radius: 0.288 degrees

Resolution: 3259x2429

Locations: Lighthouse Observatory, Burleson, Texas, United States

Data source: Backyard


Messier 63 or M63, also known as NGC 5055 or the seldom-used Sunflower Galaxy, is a spiral galaxy in the northern constellation of Canes Venatici. M63 was first discovered by the French astronomer Pierre Méchain then later verified by his colleague Charles Messier on June 14, 1779. In the mid-19th century, Anglo-Irish astronomer Lord Rosse identified spiral structures within the galaxy, making this one of the first galaxies in which such structure was identified.
This galaxy has a spiral shape with no central bar feature and moderate to loosely wound arms. Each arm wraps 150° around the galaxy and extends out to 13 kly (4 kpc) from the nucleus.
M63 is an active galaxy with a LINER nucleus. This displays as an unresolved nuclear source wrapped in a diffuse emission. The existence of a super massive black hole (SMBH) at the nucleus is uncertain; if it does exist, then the mass is estimated as (8.5±1.9)×108 M☉.
The distance to M63, based upon the luminosity-distance measurement is 8.99 Mpc (29.3 Mly). M63 is part of the M51 Group, a group of galaxies that also includes M51 (the 'Whirlpool Galaxy').
In 1971, a supernova with a magnitude of 11.8 appeared in one of the arms of M63. It was discovered May 24, 1971 and reached peak light around May 26. [Source: Wikipedia]

CAPTURE Information:
The image was captured with the iOptron CEM120 mount , the venerable Meade 12"LX200 SCT, and my Atik 383L+ m CCD at F7.16 (2182mm FL). Astronomik's Lum (L), along with R, G and B broad band filters were used. Imaging subs were taken at 1x1 bin, -10C, and 10 minute for Luminance; and 5 minutes for R, G and B.

IMAGE information -- 2019:
Lum: 45 subs (7.50hr) on Mar 13th, 25th and 31st.
Red: 20 subs (1.67hr) on Apr 1st and 8th.
Green: 20 subs (1.67hr) on Mar 31st and Apr 1st.
Blue: 20 subs (1.67hr) on Apr 1st.

Processing was done with PixInsight, following (for the most part) kayronjm's tutorial of Feb. 24th, 2013. Background was a problem, but detail and color came out OK (see below). North is up and this is a slight crop due to the misalignment accumulation from the different filters and times.

Luminance continues to suffer from optical reflections, more than likely caused by the city lights from Burleson, less than "stellar" skies, and old optics. Since the last image I was able (kinda) to create a limited number of "Twilight" flats for the Luminance. While not eliminating the undesirable feature, the new flats did reduce it. So, a bit better, but it's still there if you look for it.

EDIT April 19, 2019:
The first image (the gold one) was processed in Pixinsight and used no color correction. The “Gold” cast was the result. The second image (more red or magenta) was done using Pixinsight’s Color Correction process and selecting the Galaxy method. My main reason for adding this comment is, without it I’ll likely lose track of what I did.



License: None (All rights reserved)


  • M63 Spiral Galaxy in Gold, 


  • Final
    M63 Spiral Galaxy in Gold, 



Sky plot

Sky plot


M63 Spiral Galaxy in Gold,