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Contains:  NGC 4627, NGC 4631, NGC 4656, NGC 4657, NGC4627, NGC4631, NGC4656, NGC4657, Whale Galaxy
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Starburst galaxy, NGC 4631 The Whale Galaxy & The Hockey Stick

Technical card

Dates:May 9, 2018March 19, 2020

Astrodon 5nm Ha: 12x600" bin 1x1
Astrodon E-Series Blue filter: 39x600" bin 1x1
Astrodon E-Series Green filter: 39x600" bin 1x1
Astrodon E-Series Red filter: 39x600" bin 1x1
Astrodon Luminance E-Series: 68x600" bin 1x1

Integration: 32.8 hours

Avg. Moon age: 24.27 days

Avg. Moon phase: 28.52% job: 3498511

RA center: 12h 42' 45"

DEC center: +32° 20' 1"

Pixel scale: 1.222 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: -2.839 degrees

Field radius: 0.667 degrees

Resolution: 2462x3062

Locations: Entre Encinas y Estrellas E-EyE, Fregenal de la Sierra, Extremadura, Spain

Data source: Own remote observatory

Remote source: e-EyE Extremadura


From Wikipedia: "NGC 4631 (also known as the Whale Galaxy or Caldwell 32) is a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. This galaxy's slightly distorted wedge shape gives it the appearance of a herring or a whale, hence its nickname.[3] Because this nearby galaxy is seen edge-on from Earth, professional astronomers observe this galaxy to better understand the gas and stars located outside the plane of the galaxy. NGC 4631 contains a central starburst, which is a region of intense star formation. The strong star formation is evident in the emission from ionized hydrogen[4] and interstellar dust heated by the stars formed in the starburst.[5] The most massive stars that form in star formation regions only burn hydrogen gas through fusion for a short period of time, after which they explode as supernovae. So many supernovae have exploded in the center of NGC 4631 that they are blowing gas out of the plane of the galaxy. This superwind can be seen in X-rays[6] and in spectral line emission.[4] The gas from this superwind has produced a giant, diffuse corona of hot, X-ray emitting gas around the whole galaxy."

I have imaged this photogenic pairing a couple of times and the edge-on view through the Whales's dusty disc is intriguing. Enhancing the data with Ha (&the LRGB) from an older image taken from my home observatory ( along with has shown the starburst activity. This galaxy may be a great candidate to image with the TEC another year . . .

Data acquisition: Barry Wilson & Steve Milne
Processing: Barry Wilson



Barry Wilson
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


Starburst galaxy, NGC 4631 The Whale Galaxy & The Hockey Stick, 


            Barry Wilson

In these public groups

Entre Encinas y Estrellas (e-EyE)