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NGC2655 and NGC2715

NGC2655 and NGC2715 in Camelopardalis NGC2655 and NGC2715 in Camelopardalis ©2017 Frederick Steiling

Featured in Astronomy Magazine: August 2017 Special Eclipse Edition, Pg. 88

Target Information
Main Target Designations NGC2655, NGC2715
Companion Objects PGC25427, PGC25371
RA Center 09h 00m 4.941s
DEC Center +78° 11' 16.91"
Rotation 0.347° (North is up)
Pixel Scale (as posted) 1.536 arcseconds/pixel
Additional Images
Published image Full resolution
NGC2715 Upsample NGC2175
Annotated image Pop up preview
Full resolution
Exposures
LRGB 460’/130'/120'/130'
L subframes 23x1200" @ 1x1
R/G/B subframes 13/12/13 x 600" @ 1x1
Total Integration 14hrs
Date(s) of acquisition 23Oct2016, 29Nov2016, 8Dec2016, 01Mar2017, 02Mar2017
Location Whiteside, MO
Equipment
Imager SBIG STF-8300M
Telescope/Lens Orion 8" f/3.9 Astrograph
Mount Celestron CGEM (DIY Hypertuned)
Guiding Apparatus OAG-8300
Guiding Camera QHY5L-II
Filter Wheel FW5-8300
Wide Filters Astronomik L
Astrodon Gen II LRGB
Accessories
Coma Corrector Baader MPCC Mark III
Collimator Howie Glatter 650nm laser
Focusing Moonlite CR with V2 High-res Stepper
Software
Acquisition Sequence Generator Pro
Guiding PHD2
Processing PixInsight 1.8

There are a lot of words to describe something that embodies characteristics of multiple otherwise distinct things:  A combination, union, merger, composite, and on and on.

How about "lenticular"?

Galaxies can take on many different forms, and sometimes those forms come together to create a fantastically unique presentation.  NGC2655, the larger galaxy to the right (west) of this image, is one such bundle of gas and stars.  This galaxy possesses an elliptical form (extensive diffuse and featureless regions), fascinating tidal streams swirling about it, and asymmetrical dust bands through its core.  The tidal streams are easily the most unique that I have captured, and are indicative of past interaction and consumption of other galaxies as they get whipped into the center in the process.  There are additionally just a tinge of odd off-center structures at the south (bottom) of the core, vestiges of thin dust structures that Hubble has previously imaged.

This busy area of the sky also contains spiral galaxy NGC2715, showing remarkable rotational features despite its small apparent size.  In an upsampled view of this region from this photo, we see even at a distance of 72 million light years that sharp, hot pink star formation regions are present in the bustling arms of this galaxy.  Even a faint tidal stream is present as an extension of the galaxies southern (bottom) arm.

This photo was a long-haul, taken over the course of 4+ months due to weather and other obligations, and it's an exciting one to complete for several reasons.  It's my first with a new set of color filters (Astrodon Gen II LRGB).  The color data for this photo showed remarkable consistency as compared to my older Astronomik filters, with a raw background ADU that was virtually indifferent between R, G, and B.  This photo also represents my favorite kind of image, as it is of a region where few deep photographs exist.  A search on Google, Astrobin, and other sites reveals only a handful of color photographs, and I'm excited to add another to the mix.  The spirit of discovery lives on in this image!

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