M64 - Black Eye Galaxy

M64 - Black Eye Galaxy: The Black Eye galaxy in Coma Berenices has some exceptionally prominent dust lanes that give the galaxy its' name. Apparently, the outer bands of this spiral are orbiting in the opposite direction that the inner regions as a result of a collision with a smaller galaxy that has been almost completely absorbed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Eye_Galaxy

Messier: 64
NGC: 4826
Right Ascension: 12h 56m 44s
Declination: 21° 41'
Apparent Magnitude: 9.4

Date: April 2010
Telescope: Meade 16" Schmidt Cassegrain with f6.3 reducer
Camera: SBIG ST-10XE
Guiding: Meade 5" refractor/DSI Pro/PHD

Exposure: L: 11x3 minutes
BVR: 4x5 minutes each

Processing Notes: Data acquisition with CCDSoft. Reduced and aligned in CCDStack. Subs combined in Sigma Beta. Auto-white balance in AstroArt to combine the color channels. Adjusted curves and levels in Photoshop. Slight blur on the dim areas and sharpening on non-star bright areas. A highpass filter was applied on an overlay layer to increase contrast. Clone tool was used on the edges to fix the "missing" regions from the slightly rotated color channels. There were some curious background artifacts, so the black level was set higher than ideal to remove them.
Scale: 1.0"/pixel

Links to images of this object on other sites:

Additional Comments: The color on this image was from "BVR" photometric filters (which were being used for another project) rather than the "standard" RGB photographic filters. Data taken by Chris Hardrick and Bill Fellman, processing by Charles Hakes. This is a re-processing using a highpass filter layer to increase contrast. The previous version is here: http://www.fortlewis.edu/observatory/image_detail.asp?ID=187

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