NGC 4565

All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

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Magnitude:  10.19
Size: 14'
Distance: 30 million light years
RA: 12h 36m 33.5s
Dec: 25 degrees 57' 16"

NGC 4565 is
located in the constellation Coma Berenices (Bernice's Hair) and is perhaps the most famous example of an edge-on spiral galaxy.   It is a relatively bright, needle-like structure when viewed visually in 8-10" scopes, although the intricate central dust lane can be best appreciated on photographs.  Lord Rosse described this galaxy in 1855 as "a beautiful object, very well seen in the finding eyepiece; the whole nebula is much broader at the nucleus than elsewhere, narrowing off suddenly, and the nucleus projects into dark space" (Burnham's Celestial Handbook, Volume 2, page 688, Dover Publishing, 1977).  Massive dust lanes that bisect spiral galaxies into top and bottom halves such as this are quite common and can be seen in NGC891, NGC3628, as well as in the Great Rift of our own Milky Way galaxy.  There are many other galaxies present in this FOV, as shown in this rollover image (labels from StarryNight Pro).

Photographic Details:
Date:  April 15, 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 R, G, B, plus clear filter set.
Exposures:  L:R:G:B.  120:20:20:20.  Luminance unbinned; RGB binned 2x2.
Conditions:  Temperature 45 degrees F, dropping to 32 degrees at end of session; good transparency; average to poor seeing; clear.  First quarter moon was out.
Calibrated with flats and bias frames (no darks) in ImagesPlus.  Aligned, combined (Min/Max Excluded Average), and DDP stretched in ImagesPlus.  Subsequent levels and curves adjustments in Photoshop CS (16 bit format).  Russ Croman's GradientXTerminator plug-in for Photoshop was very effective in removing gradients.  Final sharpening done with high pass filtering at a radius of 0.8.

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