Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Contains:  M 63  ·  M63  ·  NGC 5055  ·  Sunflower galaxy
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M63, Sunflower Galaxy, LRGB, 5-11 May 2019, 


            David Dearden
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M63, Sunflower Galaxy, LRGB, 5-11 May 2019

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Astro-Tech AT8IN

Imaging cameras: ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool

Mounts: Skywatcher NEQ-6 Pro Synscan

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Astro-Tech AT8IN

Guiding cameras: ZWO AS120MM-Mini

Focal reducers: High Point Scientific Coma Corrector Photo & Visual For Netwonian Telescopes 2"

Software: DeepSkyStacker  ·  Silicon Fields StarTools 1.3  ·  Noel Carboni's Astro Tools for PhotoShop  ·  AstroPlanner  ·  PHD2 Guiding  ·  Sequence Generator Pro  ·  EQASCOM  ·  photoshop

Filters: ZWO Red 31 mm  ·  ZWO Luminance 31 mm  ·  ZWO Green 31 mm  ·  ZWO Blue 31 mm

Accessory: Orion Thin Off Axis Guider (TOAG)  ·  Robert Brown's Arduino ASCOM Focuser Pro DIY  ·  ZWO EFW filter wheel

Dates:May 4, 2019May 10, 2019May 11, 2019

ZWO Blue 31 mm: 17x180" (gain: 139.00) -20C bin 1x1
ZWO Green 31 mm: 25x180" (gain: 139.00) -20C bin 1x1
ZWO Luminance 31 mm: 71x180" (gain: 139.00) -20C bin 1x1
ZWO Red 31 mm: 20x180" (gain: 139.00) -20C bin 1x1

Integration: 6.7 hours

Avg. Moon age: 13.87 days

Avg. Moon phase: 25.64%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 5.00

Astrometry.net job: 2699672

RA center: 13h 15' 54"

DEC center: +42° 1' 16"

Pixel scale: 1.719 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 3.359 degrees

Field radius: 0.702 degrees

Resolution: 2328x1800

Locations: Mapleton Lateral Observatory, Mapleton, Utah, United States

Data source: Backyard


28.9 ± 1.0 MLy

This is another target that was way overdue; my last attempt was 6 years ago, and was a pretty good image for me at the time. I continued to have problems with the session ending prematurely as the imaging camera downloads failed. I may have that fixed now (instead of using a USB3 hub and cable, I brought the USB3 cable from the imaging and guide cameras (the guider is plugged into the hub on the ASI1600MM-cool) to my USB2 hub that everything else is plugged into and then brought all the image data back on a single USB2 cable—so far, so good). But for this image I was still having problems. I’ve been curious about what appears to be a big dust lane visible in the outer part of M63, but surfing the web hasn’t told me much about it. Maybe it’s the result of a merger.

Date: 5, 10, 11 May 2019
Subject: M63, Sunflower Galaxy
Scope: AT8IN+High Point Scientific Coma Corrector
Filters: ZWO 31 mm diameter unmounted 7 nm L, R, G, B
Mount: EQ-6 (EQMOD 2.000j)+PEC
Guiding: Orion Thin Off-axis Guider + ASI120MM-mini +PHD 2.6.5dev6 (Win 10 ASCOM)
Camera: ASI1600MM-Cool, -20 °C, Gain 139 Offset 21
Acquisition: Sequence Generator Pro
Exposure: 71x180 L, 20x180 R, 25x180 G, 17x180 B
Stacking: Deep Sky Stacker 4.1.1 (64-bit) dark+flat+bias, κ-σ stacking with κ = 1.5.
Processing: StarTools 1.4.341: Cropped, wiped, developed, HDR optimized, deconvoluted, and untrack denoised the L data. Combined RGB in StarTools, adjusting for different integration times, then cropped, wiped, developed, and used the color module on the RGB data, increasing the saturation. Untrack denoised. Combined L with RGB, performed deep space noise reduction, made a slight levels adjustment to darken, used layer masked “Increase star color,” used 1 round of “Make stars smaller.” AstroFrame.



David Dearden
License: None (All rights reserved)

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M63, Sunflower Galaxy, LRGB, 5-11 May 2019, 


            David Dearden