M77, Spiral Galaxy in Cetus

 

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Description: As one of the largest galaxies in the Messier catalog, this galaxy is 120 million light years across and the dim outer arms, just visible in this image, extend to over 170 million light years.  Its very bright core contrasts strongly with its dim outer arm structure.  The center is a powerful radio source and has a number of peculiarities.  This is also catalogued as Arp 37 in Halton Arp's catalog of peculiar galaxies.  More information on this interesting galaxy is available from SEDS by using this link.
 
Exposure Data: 11/27,30/2003.  LRGB: 15x8m, 4x10m, 4x8m, 4x13m, RGB 2x2. -20C, 0.49 arc-sec./pixel.
 
Processing: Acquired via Sequencer II (dither 3) and CCDSoft, reduced and aligned, in Mira, Combined in Sigma, L 2x CCDSharp, LRGB combine in Maxim, LLRGB combine, curves, levels and other processing in Photoshop.
 
Optical System: 12.5 Ritchey-Chretien RCOS Truss @ F/9, ST-10XME NABG/CFW-8A CCD camera, Paramount ME.  AO7 guided.
 
Comments: Seeing was 3.0 arc-sec and deconvolved to 2.4 arc-sec.