This face on spiral galaxy is of a very low surface brightness and has eluded me for years to get a decent image on film. This CCD image shows that the entire galaxy consists of bright blue star forming regions - the blue knots. It has been suggested the meager nucleus of this object may have something to do with the lack of a central yellow population of stars. The electric arc blue color of the knots was a bit unusual to me at first, a check of the Wray Atlas proved this was the true color. A few small pink HII regions can be seen near the central bulge in this image. This night had stars that were 2 arcsec FMHW, amongst the best seen here in a very long time. Due to the faintness of the arms, and not overly bright nuclear region, DDP was not used, rather a luminance layering in the L channel was used to keep the extremely bright blue knots from being burned out white.
Instrument: 12.5" f/5 Home made Newtonian CCD Camera: SBIG ST7E w/Enhanced Cooling Exposure: LRGB = 60:20:20:20 (RGB Binned 2x2) Filters: RGB Tricolor Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: Seeing 8/10, Transparency 7/10 Outside Temperature: 65 F CCD Temperature: -20 C Processing: Maxim DL, Photoshop, PW Pro.