NGC 7331 - The Deer Lick Galaxy Group in Pegasus


Copyright 2010 Hap Griffin

NGC7331 is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Pegasus.  At a distance of 50 million light years, it affords us a unique model to study our own galaxy's structure since it closely resembles our own in many ways...similar star to gas ratio, total mass, spiral arm structure, etc.  It belongs to an optical grouping of several other, much more distant galaxies, beyond it. This group apparently was given this odd name by someone "in commemoration of one of the finest nights of viewing EVER, at Deer Lick Gap, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, in the NC mountains" and the name stuck.


Date/Location:    October 1, 2010     Griffin/Hunter Observatory    Bethune, SC
Camera: QSI 583wsg
Filters: Astrodon E Series Generation 2 LRGB
CCD Temperature: -10 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:    Cool and clear
Weather:    65 - 55 F, still
Exposure: 280 minutes total (10 x 10 min Luminance, 6 x 10 min 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.