Spiral Galaxy in Fornax

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NGC1365: Having imaged this two years ago with my little scope (just after a supernova exploded in this galaxy; I have images showing the supernova here), I wanted to give it a shot with my large scope. As expected, there is absolutely no sign of that star in this image; they appear and disappear quickly!

This is a barred spiral galaxy visually within the constellation Fornax (in the southern sky), and a dominant part of the Fornax Galaxy Cluster. 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 about twice the size as our own Milky Way galaxy (making it a fairly large galaxy), about 200,000 light years across; it is about 60 million light years from us. The center of this beautiful galaxy contains a supermassive black hole, measured to be about 2 million solar masses in mass; measurements taken in 2013 suggest that the outer part of this black hole is spinning at almost the speed of light.


Technical Information:

LRGB: 480:135:180:315; All channels are the integration of 15-minute exposures through Astrodon filters. 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, combined and deconvolved (data used in the luminance layer only) in Pixinsight. Color combine in Pixinsight. Finish work (curves and levels, adjustment of contrast, High Pass Filter/Layer Mask, 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 December 2014 and January 2015. Image posted February 10, 2015.

CCD Chip temperature: -5C

Copyright 2014, 2015 Mark de Regt

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