Small Magellanic Cloud: The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is an irregular dwarf galaxy, orbiting our Milky Way, about 200,000 light years from us. For perspective, our galaxy is about 100,000 light years across. It is about 7,000 light years across. It contains perhaps several hundred million stars, and has a total mass about 7 billion times that of our sun. The SMC is classified as an irregular galaxy, but it is known to have a well-defined bar at its center (similar to the Milky Way), leading scientists to theorize that the SMC was a spiral galaxy distorted by the gravitational forces of the Milky Way. In this rendition, I have emphasized the HII (star-forming) regions (the pink clouds of ionized hydrogen).
(HaL)HaGB: 345:315:345:150:150; Luminance layer consists of a blending of twenty-three 15-minute unbinned images taken through an Astrodon Ha filter and twenty-one 15-minute unbinned images taken through an Astrodon clear filter; Red channel consists of the same 23 images taken through the Ha filter, while the G and B channels consisted of ten 15-minute unbinned images each.
Equipment: Takahashi FSQ106, SBIG STL11000 (with Astrodon filters), on a Bisque Paramount ME German Equatorial Mount.
Image Acquisition/Camera Control: CCDSoft v5, working in concert with TheSky v6, all controlled with ACP Observatory Control software.
Processing: All images calibrated (darks and dawn flats), aligned, sigma reject performed, and combined in CCDStack. Luminance layer(s) mildly deconvolved in CCDStack. Color combine in Photoshop. Finish work (curves and levels, increasing saturation) was done in Photoshop CS5.
Location: Data acquired remotely from Fair Dinkum Skies, near Moorook, South Australia.
Date: Most images taken in September 2010. Image posted February 24, 2011.
CCD Chip temperature: -20C
Copyright 2011 Mark de Regt