Ed Bianchina's Astronomy

Astrophotography

Galaxies

The Blackeye Galaxy

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The Blackeye Galaxy
The Black Eye Galaxy (also called Sleeping Beauty Galaxy; designated Messier 64, M64, or NGC 4826) was discovered by Edward Pigott in March 1779, and independently by Johann Elert Bode in April of the same year, as well as by Charles Messier in 1780. It has a spectacular dark band of absorbing dust in front of the galaxy's bright nucleus, giving rise to its nicknames of the "Black Eye" or "Evil Eye" galaxy. M64 is well known among amateur astronomers because of its appearance in small telescopes. A collision of two galaxies has left a merged star system with an unusual appearance as well as bizarre internal motions. Astronomers believe that the oppositely rotating gas arose when M64 absorbed a satellite galaxy that collided with it, perhaps more than one billion years ago. Active formation of new stars is occurring in the shear region where the oppositely rotating gases collide, are compressed, and contract. Particularly noticeable in the image are hot, blue young stars that have just formed, along with pink clouds of glowing hydrogen gas that fluoresce when exposed to ultraviolet light from newly formed stars. It is approximately 17 million light years from earth. (from Wikipedia) This is a very difficult object to capture. It was taken at the highest focal ratio my scope is capable of and requires excellent tracking and good skies. Taken with: 9.25 SCT at f/10 Atlas mount QHY8 Guided with: ST80/DSI Software: Nebulosity PHD DeepSkyStacker Photoshop
Posted on February 18, 2010 Full Size| Slideshow