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:  NGC 4627, NGC 4631, NGC 4656
Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
NGC 4631 Whale Galaxy #1, 


            Molly Wakeling
NGC 4631 Whale Galaxy #1
Powered byPixInsight

NGC 4631 Whale Galaxy #1

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses:Takahashi FSQ-106N

Imaging cameras:ZWO ASI294MC Pro

Mounts:Software Bisque Paramount MyT

Guiding telescopes or lenses:Orion 50mm guidescope

Guiding cameras:QHY5

Software:Seqence Generator ProPixInsight

Filters:Astronomik CLS-CCD 2"

Dates:Nov. 25, 2019Dec. 31, 2019Jan. 2, 2020Jan. 4, 2020

Frames:Astronomik CLS-CCD 2": 58x300" (gain: 120.00) -20C bin 1x1

Integration: 4.8 hours

Darks: ~20

Flats: ~45

Avg. Moon age: 12.15 days

Avg. Moon phase: 33.26%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 7.00

Basic astrometry details job: 3174186

RA center: 12h 42' 6"

DEC center: +32° 32' 49"

Pixel scale: 1.810 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 358.898 degrees

Field radius: 1.007 degrees

Resolution: 2745x2916

Locations: East Bay Area, CA, Berkeley, CA, United States

Data source: Backyard


The Whale Galaxy is an edge-on barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici, which is lush with galaxies, thanks to it being up out of the plane of the Milky Way, giving us a clear view out into the depths of intergalactic space. It lies about 30 million lightyears away from us. The splotch above the Whale is dwarf elliptical galaxy NGC 4627, which lies physically near the Whale.

The unusually-shaped galaxy in the lower left of the image is actually two galaxies, NGC 4656 and 4657, sometimes informally referred to as the Hockey Stick Galaxies or Crowbar Galaxy. The long one with the tail is the former, and there's a little one on the top left edge of that one that's the latter. The tail on 4656 is thought to be a result of gravitational interaction with the Whale and NGC 4627 above it.

Scattered throughout the image are a multitude of tiny, far more distant galaxies, including some dim splotches that are as far as 2 *billion* lightyears away!

When you take a closer look to spot those tiny galaxies, don't mind the noise...there's a lot of light pollution to cut through around here! I'll collect more data next year (and some true luminance) and see if I can improve it. Or get that data at the Texas Star Party. We'll see.



Molly Wakeling
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


NGC 4631 Whale Galaxy #1, 


            Molly Wakeling