NGC 4244
NGC 4244
Silver Needle Galaxy
Spiral Galaxy in Canes Venatici

Click here for different-resolution, uncropped versions:  40% (1616x1602)  65% (2677x2604) 100% (4041x4006)


NGC 4244 is a medium-sized spiral galaxy, presenting to us almost edge-on; it is part of the same group of galaxies as M94. NGC 4244 is estimated to be about 14.1 million light years away from us; at that distance, it is about 70,000 light years in diameter (significantly smaller than our Milky Way, a large galaxy). It is thought to contain about 40 billion stars.

As usual in a deep-sky image, there are a lot of small (meaning distant) galaxies in the uncropped versions of the image (look for the oblong and/or fuzzy "stars"). In particular, well above and to the right of NGC 4244, there is what appears to be two spiral galaxies interacting (easier to see in the higher-resolution versions).


Technical Information:

L:R:G:B: 570:210:195:220 (a total of almost 20 hours of light-frame exposure time); luminance was a blend of 15-minute images and 3-minute images; red and green exposures were all 15-minute exposures; blue all 20-minute exposures.

Equipment: RC Optical Systems 14.5 inch Ritchey-Chretien carbon fiber truss telescope, with ion-milled optics and RCOS field flattener, at about f/9, and an SBIG STX-16803 camera with internal filter wheel (SBIG filter set), guided by an SBIG AO-X, all riding on a Bisque Paramount ME German Equatorial Mount.

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

Processing: All images calibrated (darks, bias and sky flats), aligned and combined in Pixinsight. Color combine in Pixinsight. Some finish work (background neutralization, color calibration, BlurXterminator, NoiseXterminator, multiscale linear transform, HDR multiscale transform) done in Pixinsight; some cleanup finish work was done in Photoshop CC.

Location: Data acquired remotely from Sierra Remote Observatories, Auberry, California, USA.

Date: Images taken on many nights in April and May of 2023. Image posted October 22, 2023.

Date: Image scale of full-resolution image: 0.56 arcseconds per pixel.

Seeing: Generally good; luminance images varied in FWHM from 1.7 to 2.2 arcseconds.

CCD Chip temperature: -25C

Copyright 2023 Mark de Regt

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