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Dark Horse Observatory - Image Details: M063 The Sunflower Galaxy
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Image Details: M063 The Sunflower Galaxy

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M063 The Sunflower Galaxy

Object/Name: M63 (NGC5055, SAC3103, UGC8334, CDSO476, Bedford476) Image Details:
Type: Spiral Galaxy (Sb) Clear IRB:5.00 min. (36) – 180.00 min. 1x1
Constellation: Canes Venatici Red:5.00 min. (12) – 60.00 min. 1x1
RA: 13 hours 15.8 minutes Green:5.00 min. (12) – 60.00 min. 1x1
Dec: +42 degreees 2 minutes Blue:5.00 min. (11) – 55.00 min. 1x1
Distance: 30.0 - 37.0 million light years Total Time:355 minutes
Magnitude: 8.6 mag   
Size: 7.2 x 12.6 arc minutes   
Imaging Dates: 14 - 26 April 2013   
Location: Dark Horse Obervatory, Kimberton, PA 19460 U.S.A   
Equipment:
Telescope: Takahashi BRC-250 CCD: SBIG ST-10XME
Filter Wheel: CFW10 Focuser: Finger Lakes Instruments DF2
Rotator: Lunático Astromia Smartframer Filters: Astrodon Series E
Mount: Astelco NTM-500   
Software Used:
  CCDStack 2 Photoshop CS4
Noel Carboni's Astronomy Tools Gradient Exterminator by Russel Croman
RGB combine Ratios calculated using Excalibrator by Bob Franke Topaz Labs: Denoise, Detail, & InFocus
Noise Ninja Focus Magic
Detailed Information:
M63 is a spiral galaxy, but with a twist. This spiral has lost cohesion in its arms and they are gradually being whirled into space. The inner portion of M63 is well formed, however the numerous outer arms are loose and patchy and disorganized. This gives rise to the nickname, The Sunflower Galaxy, because these arms surrounding the tight center resembles the dense, overlapping petals of the sunflower.

M63 was first observed by M.Méchain on 14 June 1779 and is best observed visually under low power. While it is located within the boundaries of the constellation Canes Venatici, M63 bleongs to the M51 Group of galaxies which is around 37 million ly distant.

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