M100 - Spiral Galaxy in Coma Berenices


Copyright 2011 Hap Griffin


M100 is considered to be one of the brightest members of the Virgo cluster of galaxies.  It's strong spiral structure is though to be heavily influenced by three smaller nearby galaxies shown in this image.  Spiral galaxies with prominent arms such as M100 are know as "Grand Design" galaxies.

In 2006, a supernova erupted in M100, shown in one of my images HERE.

M100 lies at a distance of approximately 60 million light-years. 


Date/Location:    March 13 and April 2, 2011     Griffin/Hunter 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:    Clear and cold
Weather:    March 13 - 30 F to 20F, April 2 - 55 to 45F
Exposure: 460 minutes total (22 x 10 min Luminance binned 1x1, 8 x 10 min each RGB binned 2x2)
Capture: CCDAutopilot 4 w/ Maxim DL Camera Control, focused automatically w/ FocusMax   
Processing:    Luminance frame calibrations and stacking with ImagesPlus v3.75, alignment in Registar 1.0.  Color frame calibrations and stacking with CCDStack 2.0.  LRGB compositing and finishing in Photoshop CS5.