Hockey Stick and Whale Galaxies
On the right of this image, the Whale Galaxy (NGC 4631) is a large spiral galaxy, similar in size to our own Milky Way, but
seen edge-on.  At a distance of 25 million light-years away in the constellation Canes Venatici, this whale certainly is "taking
the long way home."   A smaller elliptical galaxy, NGC 4627 appears to float on the back of the whale. On the left side of the
image lies another distorted galaxy, the hockey stick-shaped NGC 4656.  All three galaxies appear deformed by their
gravitational interaction.

This image combined 2 hours of Luminence exposures with 30 minutes of green and red and 25 minutes of blue exposures,
using an ST10XME camera through a TEC140 refractor.  This photo was published in the
November 2005 issue of
Astronomy magazine.

Three years later from the Hidden Lake Observatory, I took a closeup view of the
Whale Galaxy with a larger telescope, as
shown on the next page.
Music:  Take the Long Way Home, by Supertramp