Tag: M63

M63 Sunflower galaxy

Messier 63 is a stunning spiral galaxy located about 37 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici. The galaxy gets its name from the striking pattern of dust and gas that resembles the petals of a sunflower surrounding its bright yellow core.

The Sunflower Galaxy was first discovered by the French astronomer Pierre Méchain in 1779 and later added to the Messier catalog by Charles Messier in 1781. With an apparent magnitude of 8.6, it is easily visible with a small telescope or binoculars.

Spring is a great time to observe galaxies like Messier 63 because, during this season, the Earth is oriented in such a way that we are looking out towards the outer regions of our Milky Way galaxy. This means that the sky is darker and clearer, providing ideal conditions for observing distant galaxies.

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1150 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 2600MM @-10°C
CorrectorTele Vue Paracorr Type-2
FiltersAntlia Ha, 3 nm, V-Pro RGB
Exposure4x24x180s, Gain 100, bin 1×1,

M63 Sunflower Galaxy

Another captured galaxy this spring. Sunflower Galaxy located in constellation Canes Venatici (hunting dogs) just like M106 or M51 galaxies. M63 has nicely visible spiral arms, it’s 27 million light-years far from us and it’s so called active galaxy, which means that the center of the galaxy is significantly brighter due to presence of supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy.

For this picture I used new astro-camera ZWO 1600 MC, which is one-shot color camera. This means no filter wheel is needed and camera is much lighter than my old Moravian Instruments G2 8300M. The disadvantage of this camera is that it’s not possible to use narrow band filters. However, for RGB the performance is quite comparable.