Edge on Spiral in Leo

Uploaded 5/5/04

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I've been wanting to shoot this one for a while with my new larger camera format, and was not disappointed with this galaxies richness of details. Forming a trio with M65 &M66 in Leo, this bright perfectly edge on spiral beams softly at 10.3 magnitude and is a whopping 15 arcminutes (1/4 degree !) in length. Peculiar is the fanning out of the extreme ends of the spiral arms, pulled out in this image with liberal application of DDP techniques. A few MAC galaxies are in this image, most being 16 or 17th magnitude.

Processing: This image is in three layers. For the main image after flat fielding and dark subtraction I applied a fairly strong DDP function to bring out the outermost extensions and very faint galaxies in the periphery. A second image was processed by linear scaling only and was used to correctly render the over bloated DDP'd stars as standard stellar images. The third image was for a small amount of deconvolution applied to correct for poor seeing in only the brightest regions of the galaxy. When the layers were combined by the process of "Luminance Layering" the final result is the best of all three processing methods.

Instrument:  12.5" f/5 Home made Newtonian
Platform:  Astrophysics 1200 QMD
CCD Camera:  SBIG ST8i NABG with Enhanced Cooling
Guider: SBIG ST4
Exposure:  L(RGB) = 60:20:20:40 (RGB Binned 2x2)
RGB Combine Ratio:  1: .8: 1.2
Filters:  RGB Tricolor
Location:  Payson, Arizona
Elevation:  5150 ft.
Sky:  Seeing FWHM = 6.0 arcsec (Maxim DL - 10min subframe), Transparency 6/10
Outside Temperature:  0 C
CCD Temperature:  -20 C
Processing Tools:  Maxim DL, RG Sigma, Photoshop, AIP4WIN, PW Pro, RW Debloomer.


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