Contact information

Ursa Astronomical Association
Kopernikuksentie 1
00130 Helsinki

Ursa Astronomical Association

M63 and vuorovesihännät - 17.3.2018 at 23.00 - 18.3.2018 at 05.00 Kirkkonummi Observation number 71798

Visibility IV / V

Jari Saukkonen, Kirkkonummen komeetta

M63 "Sunflower galaxy" and tidal tails

Spring winter is a challenging time for a star photographer focusing on extensive mists. The Milky Way targets sink to their lands early in the evening, so the well-served targets are mostly galaxies that don’t get their rights in the short term.

Thinking about the next subject, I remembered a lecture a year ago at a CEDIC conference in Austria about the dim tidal tails around many galaxies. They were born in ancient encounters of galaxies, when their mutual gravity has so-called messed up the pack, i.e. thrown a wild number of stars out of the galaxy's disk. Maybe these could be described? With a small 10cm lens tube?

Three nights and 14 hours later the answer was yes, although the tails are so dim that they didn’t really show up in a beautiful picture. So there is also a false color image where the tails stand out on the left and right sides of the Kaarina galaxy.

However, this galaxy is only a small part of the entire 2.5 x 1.9 degree image field where dozens of distant galaxies can be seen. I still compiled a picture of some of them.

Also worth mentioning is the benefits of a remotely operated observatory: the constellation was happily sleeping most of the exposure time for this subject :-).

More similar observations
Additional information
  • Observation target
    • Deep space object
  • Designation
    • M63 ja vuorovesihännät
    • Näyttävä
  • Constellation
    • Canes Venatici
  • Galaxies
    • Spiral galaxy info

      Spiral galaxy is a stellar system where there are outwards arched spiral arms from roundish (spiral galaxies) or bar-shaped (barred spiral galaxies) central condensation.

      The apparent shape of spiral galaxied depends on out observation direction. From above they are quite round. From the side they lens-shaped with a bulge in the middle.

      Generally a rather large instrument, good weather conditions and observational expereince are needed to see spiral arms. Usually spiral galaxies look like a fuzzy spots.

      Spiral galaxy M33 in Triangulum. Image Tero Turunen.


      Andromeda Galaxy M31. There are also galaxies M110 (upper right corner) and M32 (lower left corner) in this image. Image Pekka Peura.

      M101 aka Pinwheel Galaxy in Ursa Major. Image Samuli Vuorinen.


      Spiral galaxy IC 342 aka Hidden Galaxy in Camelopardalis. Image Timo Inkinen.

      A sketch of spiral galaxy NGC 7331 in Pegasus. Image Juha Ojanperä.

Technical information

Telescope Skywatcher Esprit 100ED Super APO Triplet, camera ASI1600MM-Cool, tripod 10Micron GM1000HPS. 268: 50: 50: 50 two-minute LRGB exposures, ie a total exposure time of 13h 56min.

Comments: 4 pcs
Mikko Peussa - 20.3.2018 at 00.05 Report this

Todella hienoa jälkeä.

Jari Ylioja - 20.3.2018 at 18.23 Report this

Upea kuva.

Lauri Turunen - 20.3.2018 at 22.08 Report this

Mitä ohjelmia käytit jälkikäsittelyssä?

Jari Saukkonen - 20.3.2018 at 22.38 Report this

Kiitos kommenteista! Kuvankäsittelyn tein lähes valmiiksi PixInsightissa, tämän jälkeen Photoshopilla pientä hienosäätöä ja noiden kakkos/kolmoskuvien kasailu. Lopuksi viimeistelin rajauksen, sävyt ja tasot Lightroomissa.

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