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Contains:  NGC 4039, Antennae, NGC 4038
Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
Arp 244: A Grand Cosmic Entanglement, 


            Robert Churan
Arp 244: A Grand Cosmic Entanglement

Arp 244: A Grand Cosmic Entanglement

Technical card

Resolution: 5200x3000

ZWO Blue 1.25": 15x256"
ZWO Green 1.25": 15x256"
ZWO Luminance 1.25": 45x256"
ZWO Red 1.25": 14x256"

Integration: 6.3 hours

Darks: ~50

Flats: ~50

Bias: ~50 job: 2664532

RA center: 180.475 degrees

DEC center: -18.879 degrees

Pixel scale: 0.381 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 1.023 degrees

Field radius: 0.317 degrees

Data source: Backyard


A pair of interacting galaxies in the constellation Corvus some 45 million light years away. These are two galaxies in the process of colliding and merging.

The nickname "Antennae" comes from the two colliding galaxies' tails of stars, gas, and dust resembling the antennae of an insect.

These galaxies are currently in a "starburst phase" where the colliding gas, dust, and entangled magnetic fields yield a high rate of star formation. Many pink stellar-forming regions are visible in the galactic nuclei.

This object was by far my most difficult capture. In the low South-Southeast my guiding is awful, which means I'm limited on the small scales of detail being blurred out by RA spikes and DEC stiction. It also took a lot to integrate this object. I only see it in the gap between trees and my neighbor's house for about 45 minutes a night. After several nights of capturing it, it starts too close to the neighbor's house to calibrate PHD2 and I'm stuck with 6.3 hours of data to work with.

6.3 hours of mediocre data on a faint object is certainly tough to process, and processing it took a lot of tough choices. In the end, I'm strangely going with my first iteration. No other version could compare to this one. It has its problems, like the ugly, blotchy background. It also doesn't show the star tails very prominently above the background. However, versions bringing out star tails tended to have worse background and didn't look very "natural."

Though, this was a fun target and, despite frustration, I'm happy to share my end result.



Robert Churan
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


Arp 244: A Grand Cosmic Entanglement, 


            Robert Churan