M63 Sunflower Galaxy

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2015/05/22 - Messier 63 (also known as M63, NGC 5055, or the Sunflower Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici consisting of a central disc surrounded by many short spiral arm segments. M63 is part of the M51 Group, a group of galaxies that also includes M51 (the Whirlpool Galaxy).


Object information
Name : M63 Sunflower Galaxy
Type : Galaxy
Constellation : Canes Venatici
Distance : 37M light-year
Apparent dimensions : 12.6' x 7.2'
Apparent magnitude : 9.30

Image information
Image date : 2015/05/22, 2015/03/16
Right ascension : 13:15:49.635
Declination : 42°1' 43.72"
Focal length : 1686.24 mm
Focal ratio : f/6.64
Image resolution : 0.661 arcsec/pixel
Field of view : 36' 10.5" x 27' 22.8"
Sky quality : 21.80 mag/arcsecond2
Sensor temperature : -25°C
Light frames : 35 hours, 30 minutes total exposure time
35x 1800 sec. luminance unbinned
12x 1800 sec. RGB unbinned
Image acquisition with ACP Observatory Control Software, ACP Scheduler and Maxim DL
Auto-guiding with Maxim DL
Auto-focusing with FocusMax
Bias frames : 100x unbinned
Dark frames : None
Flat frames : 30x luminance unbinned
30x RGB unbinned
Automated sky twilight flats with ACP
Processing : PixInsight for calibration, alignment and integration.
Adobe Photoshop CS6 for final touch.

Equipment information
Telescope : Orion Optics 10" ODK
Corrector : None
Focuser : Baader SteelTrack with SteelDrive
Mount : Mesu Mount 200 with Sidereal Technology SiTech Controller
Camera : QSI 683wsg-8 cooled CCD camera with Kodak KAF-8300 sensor and Off Axis Guide (OAG) port
Guidecamera : Starlight Xpress Lodestar autoguider
Filters : Astrodon Tru-Balance E-Series LRGB & Astrodon 3nm H-α, 3nm O-III, 3nm S-II and 3nm N-II
Observatory site : www.sunstarfrance.com, Hautes-Alpes, France