Messier 94

All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

Please click here or on image for a higher resolution view.

Magnitude:  8.2
Size: approximately 10' (not considering outer halo)
Distance: 14.5 million light years
RA: 12h 50.9m
Dec: 41 degrees 07'

M94 is a face-on spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici.   It was discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1781, who then reported it to his friend, Charles Messier.  I decided to obtain a relatively deep luminance exposure and combined the subs with the drizzle technique, which brought out added detail best seen in the higher resolution view.  M94 has a distinct outer halo which is oval in shape and very obvious in the above image.  Additional information about M94 may be found here.

Photographic Details:
Date:  May 10, 2005
Scope:  Takahashi FS-102 at f6 with TOA-130 focal reducer, on the G11 Losmandy Mount. 
Autoguider:  SBIG STV with e-finder.
Camera:  SXV-H9
Astronomik clear filter.
Exposures:  30 x 5' each; Total exposure duration 150 minutes.
Conditions:  Temperature 55 degrees F; excellent transparency; poor seeing; clear; slight breeze.  A great night with the smell of nearby cherry blossoms filling the air and a sparkling stellar dome overhead.
No darks, although bias-subtracted flats were used for this image.  Calibration done in ImagesPlus.  I used the same procedure as for my image of M63.  Drizzle combined with coefficient sampling of 1.2 in IRIS.  DDP was performed in ImagesPlus.  Subsequent levels and curves adjustments in Photoshop CS (16 bit format).  Final sharpening done with high pass filtering.   I did not dither the subs during image acquisition.  The slight subpixel drift between exposures appears to satisfy the needs of the drizzle algorithm.

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