Galaxy M63 - The Sunflower Galaxy
Copyright 2007-2010, 2016 by Dick Locke.  All Rights Reserved.  Contact and Image Use Information

There's a new "rough cut" on my West Texas May 2016 page here.  "Soon" I'll get a better version posted here.

Spiral Galaxy M63 in Canes Venatici.  See SEDS M63 page for additional info.

The Sunflower Galaxy, M63  (click for super close-up image)

Above from 2010 is a pretty noisy image (too noisy for my 2016 standards!)...  Some interesting features include the neat dust lanes as well as the dim features on the right and lower part of the image.  The galaxy spreads out even beyond the area of this picture, but it is very dim.  You can make out a wisp of it on the lower right, under a bright star.  I think those 2 spiky features on the right are small, edge-on galaxies.  Click on the image for a bigger version that was processed just a bit differently from this one.  Details: Over 6 hour's worth of images over the years, weighted heavily towards the 3 hours acquired in April, 2010 from the Davis Mountains.   Takahashi TOA 130 Telescope (a 5" APO refractor) with reducer,  AP 900GTO mount, and QHY8 CCD Camera & normal workflow.  I also ran this through Drizzle Image Processing and AIP4Win's deconvolution filter to enhance the detail in the dust lane area.

M63, Portrait

The picture above shows a wider era of the Sunflower Galaxy.  How many other galaxies can you make out?

M63, The Sunflower Galaxy (Older)

This is an image of Spiral Galaxy M63 in Canes Venatici.  See SEDS M63 page for additional info.  I think the little galaxy on the far right is PGC 45992.  The above is a new blend of 45 total images and 2 hrs 6 minutes total exposure over 3 different imaging session with the DSLR and CCD camera.  Added 9x5 minutes from 3/12-13/2010 at the HAS site. I set the black level low to conceal a noisy image and enhance the dust lanes.  This galaxy's faint outer arms are not visible in this shot (compare with above images).

Takahashi TOA 130 Telescope (a 5" APO refractor) with flattener,  AP 900GTO mount, and QHY8 CCD Camera & normal workflow.

For other pictures of M 63, there are two APOD versions of M63, one here and another here.


This is an older version incorporating my Davis Mountains 3/2007 combination of 29x4 minute = 81 minute total exposures, plus the bottom image, = 109 total minutes exposure.  This is just about full size and you can see all the warts in my mount's guiding at this focal length.  The Davis Mountains frames used the TOA 130 and the flattener.  I'm going to hit it again with the AP and maybe the 1.6 extender some day ;-)

Temps were in the 60's with a breeze in the mountains, which was pleasant for me, but cooler would have been better for the picture!  Other Pictures from the Davis Mountains are here

Above is the 7 exposures, 4 minutes each = 28 minutes total exposure with reducer version, February 2007. 

Combined images: Canon EOS 20Da (unmodified), ISO , Takahashi TOA 130 (a 5" APO refractor) , Losmandy G-11 mount.   I definitely needed more time on this one.  My current image processing workflow is here.

Other Pictures from this trip are here.
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