|Galaxies M106 and NGC 4217 in Canes Venatici
The faint delicate outer spiral arms of Galaxy M106 recollect whisps of "smoke on the water." This galaxy was discovered by Pierre Mechain, a protoge of Charles
Messier, in 1781. Mechain's discoveries during this decade subsequently were appended to Messier's catalog as numbers M102 to M110. The galaxy lies at a distance of
25 million light years. The yellow regions in the spiral arms arise from mature stars billions of years old, whereas the blue regions announce younger and brighter stars only
several millions of years old.
The image above combined 65 minutes of unbinned clear luminance with 25 minutes each of red and green,and 20 minutes blue exposures binned 2 x 2. A QSI-583wsg
camera was used through an Astro-physics 300 mm f3.8 Riccardi-Honders Astrograph on an AP 1200 GTO mount.
The image immediately below, obtained 4 years earlier, combined 185 minutes of luminance exposures unbinned, with 40 minutes of red and green and 45 minutes of blue
exposures binned 2x2. I used an ST10XME camera, Meade 12" LX200R telescope, and 0.67X AP reducer, at the Hidden Lake Observatory.
For the image below, taken three years earlier from my suburban backyard, three hours of luminance exposures were combined with 15 minutes each of green and red
exposures and 20 minutes of blue exposure. My ST10XME camera operated through a Celestron C8 telescope at f10.
Music: Smoke on the Water, Deep Purple