Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Great Barred Spiral Galaxy looking beautiful, by Steve Crouch

This is lovely shot by Steve Crouch of the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1365, which is about 56 million light years away. The yellow central section clearly shows the bar from which it gained its name.

Steve explains why this was a fortuitous shot:

This started out as a test image as I continue to troubleshoot hardware and software problems. The data was taken over two nights and the seeing was never better than average and quite frequently awful. It could have been considerably better if all my equipment was working properly.
Catalogue and alternative designations: NGC 1365
Type: Barred spiral galaxy 
Position: 03 33.6, -36 08
Constellation: Fornax
Camera and Telescope: STXL11002 and 36.8 cm Ritchey Chretien
Focal Ratio: F9
Exposure Details: LRGB =240:60:60:60 with Baader filters. Luminance binned 1x1, colour 2x2
Although not the brightest galaxy in the Fornax cluster this one is probably the best known.  At magnitude 9.5 and almost 10' in diameter it shows a lot of structure.There are many small galaxies in the field.
In recent years the Hubble telescope has been used to identify Cepheid variables within NGC 1365 for the purpose of calculating an accurate value for the Hubble constant.