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M59 and M60 in Virgo

 

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Scope: Zenithstar 66 mm APO  at f/4.9, Location: Blair Valley, Anza Borrego Desert, CA   26 April 2011  Camera: Artemis285

Exposure: 17 x 6 min  (1x1 bin) exposure with UV/IR block, 7 x 3 min (2x2 bin) RGB exposures.

Processing: Images were captured  with Artemis Capture (as FITs).  Aligned/stacked and dark subtracted in Astroart with Sigma Combine.   IR / UV Blocking  filter  exposure and Color channels were scaled and  color balanced in Astroart.  Channels were co-registered in Astroart.   Central gradient removal was performed in Astroart. Luminance channel consisted of the IR/UV blocking filter exposures.  Curves and Levels applied in Photoshop to the Luminance channel to optimize star depth.   A light background noise reduction was performed in Pix Insight LE (SGBNR).  Final LRGB combine was done in Photoshop.    Final Image size is approximately 1392 x 1040.

North is up in this image. Galaxies M60 (left and M59 (right) are the prominent Elliptical galaxies  in this image. They are both members of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies and are quite massive (M60 being the more massive). The small spiral galaxy near M60 is NGC 4647. There are numerous smaller galaxies in this field- some are readily apparent, other are small and faint. The interesting pair in the upper right are spiral galaxies NGC 4606 and NGC 4607.  M59's  and M60's distance from Earth is approximately 60 million light years. This image replaces and earlier image that can be seen in the Archives here .  Horizontal FOV is 95'

Image center is approximately - Equatorial 2000: RA: 12h 42m 43s Dec: +1131'45" 

 

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