Image Acquisition Information
Telescope: 16" RCOS Ritchey-Chretien Telescope (ion milled at f/9)
Camera: SBIG STL-6303 M
Guiding: SBIG AOL, Astrodon MOAG AOG (SBIG 237
Filters: Astrodon Ha, L. R. G, B
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount ME
Acquisition Programs: The Sky,CCDAutopliot III, CCD Soft.
Processing Programs: CCDStack, Maxim DL, Photoshop
Date:March 21-March 24, 2008
Time: 18x20 min ( 6
hours) each for Ha, L, R, G, B: total 30 hrs
Processing: CCD Stack and PhotoShop CS/3
Image Infornmation: The Whirlpool galaxy is actually 2 galaxies, NGC 5194 (the larger of
the two) and NGC 5195, both located about 37 million light years distant, in Canis Venatici. It is believed that the
larger of the two galaxies is tearing the smaller apart, resulting in an area of intense new star formation. Currently
active, the dense nebulosities in this region block much of the light from the new star formation.
Additional Comments: Image processing involved production of an RGB and separate H-alpha/Luminence images combined in Photoshop CS/3. The
H-alpha images were combined with the Luminence data so as not to disturb the color balance and to bring out areas of star
formation evidenced by ultraviolet light from new stars causing hybrogen ionization. Calibration and combination
was performed with CCDStack with further processing (layering of Ha/L and RGB), data stretching, high pass filtering and background
smoothing (Kodac Gem) performed with Adobe Photoshop CS/3.