Camera: Finger Lakes Instrumentation MicroLine ML8300 with FLI CFW-2-7 Filter Wheel
Mount: Losmandy G-11/Gemini
Scope: Astro-Physics Starfire AP130 EDF
Exposure Time: 120:60:60:60 minutes
Post-Production: MaxIm DL, CCDStack, PixInsight, and Photoshop CS3
This image was taken during a trip to Kanab in the fall of 2011, from the home of my good friends Jerry and Cindy Foote. The skies at their home are extremely dark and their hospitality is beyond compare. I have made the trip to their place every fall for many years, and I look forward to it all year. NGC 253 is not only one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible, it is also one of the dustiest. Discovered in 1783 by Caroline Herschel in the constellation of Sculptor, NGC 253 lies only about ten million light-years distant. NGC 253 is the largest member of the Sculptor Group of Galaxies, the nearest group to our own Local Group of Galaxies. The dense dark dust accompanies a high star formation rate, giving NGC 253 the designation of starburst galaxy. Visible in the above photograph is the active central nucleus, also known to be a bright source of X-rays and gamma rays.