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NGC4631 is a starburst galaxy that is viewed edge on from Earth and interacts tidally with the dwarf galaxy NGC4627, forming a "light bridge" between the two objects.   It has also very vibrant star forming regions along its length. Due to its shape it is commonly known as the Whale and Companion. 

The image below is an LRGB image and represents about 7 hours integration and was taken with my Esprit 150. 

Due to poor weather and my multi object acquisition strategy, the image capture ended slightly prematurely since it has now disappeared below my local horizon. ?  

Whilst I'd have liked to gather more data, particular on the Lum channel, I was reasonably pleased at the level of detail revealed. 





LIGHTS: L:10, R:6, G:13, B:12 x 600s, DARKS:30, BIAS:100, FLATS:40 all at -20C.

Edited by alan4908
missing words !
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21 hours ago, JohnSadlerAstro said:

Wow that's amazing! The colour is so perfect, what software did you use to process it? :)


Thanks for the comment John. :hello:

The image was processed using three software packages:

  • CCDstack: calibration, alignment, stacking, data error rejection, DDP stretch (lum) and deconvolution.
  • PS: contrast enhancement, sharpening, colour enhancement, linear stretches, mask generation. 
  • Pixinsight: gradient reduction (DBE), photometric colour calibration, sharpening (MLT), background noise reduction (TGV).


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10 hours ago, Barry-Wilson said:

Terrific Alan - you have shown the tidal streams and surrounding star halo very well.

Many thanks Barry - to be honest, I was a little surprised that these revealed themselves so well with the relatively short lum integration time. 


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