NGC4631, The Whale Galaxy in Canes Venatici


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Description: NGC4631 is an edge-on spiral galaxy that is severely distorted by its neighbor below in this image, NGC4627.  There is a bridge of material between the two that is thought to be hydrogen.  Arp 281.
Exposure Data: 6/3,4/2003.  LRGB: 18x10m, 6x10m, 6x10m, 6x10m. RGB binned 2x2. 
-10C, 0.49 arc-sec./pixel.
Processing: Acquired via Sequencer in Maxim, reduced and aligned in Mira. double size, Sigma Reject combine,  RGB combine in Maxim. Lum 3 iterations in CCDSharp. LRGB assembled with curves, levels and other adjustments in Photoshop.  SGBNR applied. 
Optical System: 12.5 Ritchey-Chretien @ F/9, ST-10XME NABG/CFW-8A CCD camera, Paramount ME.  L: AO-7 guided, RGB: autoguided.
Comments: Seeing was 2.3 arc-sec., deconvolved to 1.7 arc-sec.  Sky background was 19.9 mag/arcsec2Here is last year's effort.