M100 and Neighborhood: A Face-On Spiral Galaxy

Camera: Finger Lakes Instrumentation MicroLine ML8300 with FLI CFW-2-7 Filter Wheel

Mount: Paramount ME

Scope: Supernova Astrograph - 12.5" Zambuto - My Design

Colors: L:R:G:B

Exposure Time: L 27x10 minutes unbinned - RGB 27x5 minutes each binned 2x2

Post-Production: MaxIm DL, CCDStack, PixInsight, and Photoshop CS5

This beautiful image was taken from my backyard observatory over two nights in April, 2013. It is one of my favorite objects in the sky, and I just love looking around the image at all the smaller galaxies, of which there are literally hundreds. *** Messier 100 (also known as NGC 4321) is an example of a grand design spiral galaxy located within the southern part of constellation Coma Berenices. It is one of the brightest and largest galaxies in the Virgo cluster, approximately 55 million light-years distant from Earth and has a diameter of 160,000 light years. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain on March 15, 1781 and was subsequently entered in Messier’s catalogue of nebulae and star clusters after Charles Messier made observations of his own on April 13, 1781. The galaxy was one of the first spirals discovered, and was listed as 1 of 14 spiral nebulae by Lord William Parsons of Rosse in 1850. Two satellite galaxies named NGC 4323 -connected with M100 by a bridge of luminous matter- and NGC 4328 are present within this galaxy. Five supernovae have been identified in the M100 galaxy. (Description from Wikipedia)

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