M63 – The Sunflower galaxy

M63 – Introduction

During my last astrotrip I focussed on testing out my new Nikon D600, trying to capture the tidal tail of the Leo Triplet and capturing the integrated flux nebula in M81 and M82.
At the end of the last night I had one of these moments that you stand next to your scope and think; time to shoot something else, what can I capture? So in a real ad-hoc decision I thought to point the scope at M63, the Sunflower galaxy. I knew it was of decent size so it would be a suitable object for the Nikon D600 on the Newton. At the time I regretted the decision almost immediately and wished I was more dedicated and had continued shooting M82+M82, especially since it was 1,5 hours before it get light again.
I must say however, when I was processing this image I was quite happy with the decision. It turned out to be quite a decent image already, despite the short exposure time.

M63 - Sunflower galaxy with a Nikon D600

About M63

M63, also called the Sunflower galaxy and known as NGC 5055, is a spiral galaxy. It lies in the constellation Canes Venatici and it has a central disc surrounded by many short spiral arm segments. It also has a few faint structures and arms that only show when using a long total exposure time. M63 is situated around 37 million light years away from us and it is part of the M51 Group of galaxies.

M63 image acquisition details

Date: 20/04/15
Location: Hohen Woos, Germany
Optics: 8″ Newton F5
Mount: NEQ6
Camera: Unmodified Nikon D600 used at ISO800
Guiding: Lacerta MGEN
Exposure: 14 x 300 sec.

Processed in PixInsight
No darks, no flats, no bias

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