Spiral Galaxy in Hydra

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M83: This is a barred spiral galaxy visually within the constellation Hydra (in the southern sky), and one of the closest spiral galaxies to our own Milky Way. The pinkish regions are active star-forming regions in this galaxy, and the bluish tinge is a result of clusters of bright young stars. This galaxy is less than half the size of the Milky Way galaxy, about 40,000 light years across; it is about 15 million light years from us.

If you look carefully at the larger versions, you will find dozens of tiny background galaxies in this image. Each of those has billions and billions of stars; it's a huge universe!


Technical Information:

HaLRGB: 750:560:340:500:400; Ha included to bring out the pink star-forming regions a bit better (the luminance layer is a combination of the L and the Ha data, while the red channel is a combination of the R and the Ha data); all channels except the Ha are the integration of 20-minute exposures through Astrodon filters; the Ha channel was a combination of 30-minute integrations. All images unbinned.

Equipment: 14.5" RCOS at about f/9, and an SBIG STL-11000M with internal filter wheel (Astrodon filter set), guided by a MOAG/AO-L combination, all riding on a Bisque Paramount ME German Equatorial Mount.

Image Acquisition/Camera Control: Maxim DL, controlled with ACP, working in concert with TheSky v6.

Processing: All images calibrated (darks and dawn flats), aligned and combined in Pixinsight. Color combine in Pixinsight. Most finish work (curves and levels, adjustment of contrast, High Pass Filter, and some sharpening of the luminance layer) was done in Photoshop CS5.

Location: Data acquired remotely from Fair Dinkum Skies, Moorook, South Australia.

Date: Images taken on many nights in April, May and June of 2015 (weather and seeing were pretty horrible for that stretch). Image posted June 12, 2015.

CCD Chip temperature: -15C

Copyright 2015 Mark de Regt

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