NGC 5033
NGC 5033
Spiral Galaxy in Canes Venatici.

Click here for different-resolution, uncropped versions:  40% (1616x1616)  65% (2627x2627) 100% (4041x4041)


NGC 5033 is a large spiral galaxy, somewhere between 38 and 60 million light years away from us (quite a bit of wiggle room there!).

The pink regions (of which there are many) are star-forming regions, and the blue arms contain hot young stars. The galaxy is somewhat deformed (note, for instance, that the spiral arms on the left part of the galaxy are "bent" up), presumably from gravitational interaction(s) in the past with galactic neighbors. An examination of the full-resolution version will show lots of galaxies in the background (pretty much all the oblong or fuzzy things), some of which may be dwarf galaxies near NGC 5033.

The bright star at the left edge of the uncropped photo is a magnitude 6.5 star. That's quite bright, especially when taking long exposures; it was a challenge to tame it a bit. The entire field of the photo is about the same width as a full moon. If the galaxy is 43 million light years away (a fairly common number given by scientific articles on the galaxy), it has a diameter of about 136,000 light years, similar to our Milky Way galaxy.


Technical Information:

L(HaR)GB: Ha/L/R/G/B total exposure times are 450:1620:435:180:400 (a total of almost 50 hours of exposures); luminance layer consists of blend of 100 fifteen-minute images using a luminance filter and 24 five-minute images through the luminance filter; R channel is a blend of 15 thirty-minute images using an Ha filter and 29 fifteen-minute images taken through a red filter; G consists of 12 fifteen-minute images taken through a green filter, while B is the combination of 20 twenty-minute images taken through a blue filter.

Equipment: RC Optical Systems 14.5 inch Ritchey-Chrétien carbon fiber truss telescope, with ion-milled optics and RCOS field flattener, at about f/9, and an SBIG STX-16803 with internal filter wheel (SBIG filter set), guided by an SBIG AO-X/STX Guider, 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, deconvolution, gradient removal, HDR Multiscale Transform for noise reduction and sharpening, and blending the Ha data into the red channel) done in Pixinsight; some finish work (Neat Image noise reduction, LRGB combination, contrast and saturation adjustment) was done in Photoshop CC.

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

Date: Images taken on many nights during February, March, May and June of 2022. Image posted July 8, 2022.

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

Seeing: Variable; mostly good. But the transparency often was poor.

CCD Chip temperature: -25C

Copyright 2022 Mark de Regt

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