M61 in Virgo



Scope: C8 f/7.1; Location: Dos Picos Park, Ramona, CA; 19 April, 2007; Blair Valley, Anza Borrego Desert, CA; 21 April, 2007; Camera: Artemis285

Exposure: 10 x 360 sec  Luminance exposures with IR Block Filter (bin 1x1); 8 x 120 sec RGB (bin 2x2) 

Processing: Images were captured in Artemis Capture (as FITs). Aligned/stacked in Registax 4 and saved as FITS. Luminance and Color channels were numerically scaled and  color balanced in Astroart.  Channels were co-registered in Astroart.  Central Gradient removal was performed on the L,R,G,B stacked masters. The IR Block exposure was used as the luminance channel. Curves and Levels applied in Photoshop to optimize object features.  Final LRGB combine was done in Photoshop using Luminance Layering (or LLRGB).  Clouds and wind forced relatively short data collection over two nights.   Selective sharpening with layer mask was applied to galaxy  features. Light noise reduction was performed using PixInsight LE. Final touches were done in Photoshop.  Final Image size is approximately 1392x1040.

 North is up in this image. M61 is a spiral galaxy and a larger member of Virgo galaxy cluster.  M61 is estimated to be similar in size to our own Milky Way galaxy. It is a distance of about 60 million light years distant from Earth. In this image field are also  smaller Galaxies - NGC 4301 (left) and  NGC 4292 (upper right). Yet even smaller galaxy, PGC 213977 (far upper right) can bee seen.  Horizontal FOV is about 21'

Image Center approximately - Equatorial 2000: RA: 12h 21m 51s Dec: +0431'25"


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