|Galaxy M109 in Ursa Major
Galaxy M109 is a stunning example of a "barred spiral galaxy." This category of spiral galaxies is defined by a distinct "bar" of densely packed stars
elongating the nucleus of the galaxy. The spiral arms originate from the ends of this bar. Details in this image are somewhat limited by the distance of 55
million light years.
The image above was obtained with an ST10XME camera, AP 0.67x nosepiece reducer, through a Meade 12" LX200R scope, on a frigid night with air
temperature of 20 F, allowing the camera to be cooled to -35C. The skies cooperated for 225 minutes of luminance exposures unbinned, and 25 minutes
each of red, green, and blue exposures, binned 2x2. All individual exposures were 5 minutes. I was a "Lucky Man" to have such a nice clear night
permitting 5 hours of total exposures.
The image below was obtained 3 years earlier from my suburban back yard with a smaller telescope. Two hours of luminance exposures were combined
with 15 minutes each of green and red exposures and 20 minutes of blue exposures, using an ST10XME camera through a Celestron 8" telescope at f10.
Music: Lucky Man,
Emerson Lake & Palmer