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NGC2903 / NGC2905

NGC2903 - A Barred Spiral Galaxy in Leo NGC2903 - A Barred Spiral Galaxy in Leo ©2015 Frederick Steiling
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Target Information
Main Target Designations NGC2903
Companion Objects NGC2905
RA Center 09h 32m 09.948s
DEC Center +21° 30' 01.13"
Rotation -0.026°
One-shot color 23x240" (ISO1600)
Total Integration 2hrs 8min
Date(s) of acquisition 24Feb2015
Location Whiteside, MO
Imager Olympus E-P5
Telescope/Lens Orion 8" f/3.9 Astrograph
Mount Celestron CGEM
Guiding Apparatus Orion ST80 (piggyback)
Guiding Camera Orion SSAG
Coma Corrector Baader MPCC Mark III
Collimator Orion LaserMate
Focusing Bahtinov mask
Acquisition Manual (remote shutter)
Guiding PHD2
Processing PixInsight 1.8

Peering through the great lion in the sky, Leo, we find this beautiful barred spiral galaxy in the distance.  Though fairly small in our sky at 12.6' x 6.0' (roughly 1/3 the size of a full moon in its longest direction), NGC2903 is both bright and face-on, allowing us to capture the characteristic "bar" running through the center that is responsible for its now-obvious classification.  Like most barred galaxies, the center of NGC2903 is ripe with star formation.  Drawing from the center are two arms that wisp away from the core some 40,000 light years in each direction.

On the edge of the galaxy's core is a bright spot that's been assigned its own catalog number, NGC2905 (see the annotated image).  This area is a particularly prominent star cloud, one of the many tags in this galaxy of its history of rapid star formation.

As I continue to dial in my gear with the Olympus camera and piggyback guider, I've once again stuck with 4 minute subexposures in order to minimize trailing.  Though some trailing is still present, the experience in the field setting up and calibrating the gear has become easier, and will soon permit me to graduate to longer exposures.  In the meantime, however, I can gladly stare into the face of this colorful wonder.

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