IC 342

IC 342
All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

Please click here for a medium size image (60%)
Please click here for a larger size image (70%)

RA (J2000): 03h 46m 48s
Dec (J2000): 68 degrees 05' 44"
Position Angle (Pinpoint):  plus 01 degrees


IC342 is a faint, face-on spiral galaxy whose light is attenuated in its journey through the dust of the galactic plane in the constellation Camelopardalis.  Because of its relatively low surface brightness, this target requires fairly long exposures in order to resolve detail and define its peripheral extent.  IC342 is part of the Maffei group of galaxies, discovered by Paulo Maffei in 1968.   Due to the intervening dust in this part of the Milky Way, the Maffei group is difficult to detect in visible light and is often best seen in near infrared wavelengths. The subdued nature of this galaxy contrasts with other more spectacular galactic targets like M31, M33, and M101.  Still, the above image conveys a peaceful quality that is the result of the warm yellows and browns that selectively penetrate the dust in our galactic equator.  In the upper right hand corner of the image is another spiral, PGC 13693.  A nice description of IC342 may be found on Rob Gendler's website.

Photographic Details:
Date:  October 10 and 11, 2009.
VC200L at f6.4 on the Takahashi NJP Mount.
Autoguider:  SBIG ST-402 with 60mm guidescope, focal length 227mm
Camera:  Apogee U32
Astronomik type II RGB filters, clear filter for luminance.
Exposures:  Clear (60 x 5'); R (6 x 8'); G (5 x 10'); B (6 x 15').  Total exposure time 8.1 hours.
Conditions:  Temperature varied between 60 down to 37 degrees F.
Calibrated, aligned, and Sigma Clip combined in Maxim, deconvolution in Maxim using Bob Vanderbei's Fat Tail Deconvolution script (3 iterations), followed by DDP in ImagesPlus (IP).  Further processing in Photoshop CS4 (16 bit format)

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