Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Canes Venatici (CVn)  ·  Contains:  M 63  ·  NGC 5055  ·  Sunflower galaxy
M63 - The Sunflower Galaxy, 


            Jason Guenzel
M63 - The Sunflower Galaxy
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M63 - The Sunflower Galaxy

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: CELESTRON EdgeHD 800

Imaging cameras: ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool

Mounts: Orion Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G

Guiding telescopes or lenses: CELESTRON EdgeHD 800

Guiding cameras: ASI120MM

Software: Sequence Generator Pro  ·  PixInsight  ·  Adobe Photoshop

Filters: Astronomik Deep-Sky R 1.25"  ·  Astronomik Deep-Sky G 1.25"  ·  Astronomik Deep-Sky B 1.25"  ·  Astronomik L-3 UV-IR Block 1.25"  ·  Astronomik H-alpha 6nm CCD 1.25"

Accessory: Moonlite CHL 2.5" Large Format Crayford Edge Focuser  ·  Orion Thin Off-Axis Guider (TOAG)

Dates:March 12, 2019March 16, 2019March 17, 2019March 26, 2019March 31, 2019April 1, 2019April 8, 2019April 13, 2019April 21, 2019April 22, 2019April 23, 2019April 26, 2019April 27, 2019May 5, 2019May 7, 2019May 22, 2019May 23, 2019May 26, 2019

Astronomik Deep-Sky B 1.25": 50x120" (gain: 76.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik Deep-Sky G 1.25": 50x120" (gain: 76.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik Deep-Sky R 1.25": 25x240" (gain: 0.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik H-alpha 6nm CCD 1.25": 69x240" (gain: 139.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik L-3 UV-IR Block 1.25": 187x180" (gain: 0.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik L-3 UV-IR Block 1.25": 352x90" (gain: 76.00) -20C bin 1x1

Integration: 27.7 hours

Darks: ~50

Flats: ~50

Bias: ~256

Avg. Moon age: 14.97 days

Avg. Moon phase: 52.28%

Basic astrometry details

Astrometry.net job: 2905132

RA center: 13h 15' 49"

DEC center: +42° 1' 44"

Pixel scale: 1.053 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 0.950 degrees

Field radius: 0.394 degrees

Resolution: 1684x2104

Data source: Backyard


Cataloged as part of Charles Messier’s list of notable night sky objects, Messier 63 has since picked up the nickname “The Sunflower Galaxy”.

This type of spiral galaxy, with an incoherent, fluffy appearance is known a flocculent-type. Though more recent studies in infrared reveal spiral arms, those are not apparent optically. The extended halo (just barely visible here to the upper left of the core) indicates a past galactic interaction due to its offset and warped loop.

M63 is “only” 30 million light years away, and appears as one of the larger galaxies in the night sky. It’s proximity gets us a nice and fairly detailed view through an amateur telescope.

As always, enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments!