M63 - The Sunflower Galaxy in Canes Venatici


Copyright 2010 Hap Griffin


M63 is a spiral galaxy discovered in 1850 by Lord Rosse.  It is one of the first galaxies recognized as a spiral.

M63 lies at a distance of 37 million light-years.

Date/Location:    January 9, 2010     Griffin/Hunter Observatory    Bethune, SC
Camera: QSI 583wsg
Filters: Astrodon E Series Generation 2 LRGB
CCD Temperature: -20 C
Instrument:    Planewave CDK 12.5"  
Focal Ratio:   f/8
Mount: AP-1200
Guiding:    Auto via the QSI camera's built in Off-Axis Guider mirror and a Starlight Express Lodestar Guider
Conditions:    Clear and cold
Weather:    17 F, still
Exposure: 150 minutes total (5 x 10 minutes each in RGB)
Capture: CCDAutopilot 4 w/ Maxim DL Camera Control, focused automatically w/ FocusMax   
Processing:    Frame calibrations, alignment and stacking with ImagesPlus v3.80.  Finishing in Photoshop CS4.