Monday, March 18, 2013

Black Eyed Piece

Messier 64 galaxy is also known as Black Eye or Sleeping Beauty galaxy. Both these names corresponds to the spectacular dark band of absorbing dust near the galaxy nucleus. Galaxy itself is a spiral galaxy that is about 24 mln ligt years away and can be found in Coma Berenices constellation (Berenice's Hair). 
Recent galaxy studies had led to discovery, that interstellar gas in the outer regions rotates with the opposite direction than inner regions (till about 3000 light years from galaxy center). This is believed to cause many new stars creation in the layer that splits these two regions. Astronomers says the reason for this unusual behaviour was a collision of two galaxes about one billion years ago. 
Picture above was taken with regular setup (6" newtonian, Atik 314L+, L filter) with total exposure time 120 minutes. Single exposure was limited to 3 minutes due to very bright galaxy core that was oversaturated during longer exposures. Picture scale is 1.9 arc sec / px.

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