The Draco Trio of Galaxies


Copyright 2011 Hap Griffin


Like a similar trio of galaxies in Leo, this grouping shows two spiral galaxies from different angles as well as a large elliptical galaxy.  At the far left is NGC 5981, an edge-on spiral.  In the center is NGC 5982 (also called Herschel H764-2).  At the right is the beautiful spiral, NGC 5985.  Although all three galaxies lie at roughly the same distance, 100 million light years, it is not yet determined that they are a true gravitationally linked cluster. 


Date/Location:    May 29 and June 4, 2011     Imaging Infinity Observatory    Bethune, SC
Camera: QSI 583wsg
Filters: Astrodon E Series Generation 2 LRGB
CCD Temperature: -20 C
Instrument:    Planewave 12.5" CDK  
Focal Ratio:   f/8
Mount: AP-1200
Guiding:    Auto via the QSI camera's built in Off-Axis Guider mirror and an SBIG ST-402 Guider
Conditions:    Hot and hazy
Weather:    80 F to 72F
Exposure: 420 minutes total (27 x 10 min Luminance binned 1x1, 10 x 10 min each RGB binned 2x2)
Capture: CCDAutopilot 4 w/ Maxim DL Camera Control, focused automatically w/ FocusMax   
Processing:    Luminance frame calibrations, alignment and stacking with ImagesPlus v4.25.  LRGB compositing and finishing in Photoshop CS5.