Sunflower Galaxy


M63 (also known as NGC 5055, or the Sunflower Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici consisting of a central disc surrounded by many short spiral arm segments. M63 is part of the M51 Group, a group of galaxies that also includes M51 (the ‘Whirlpool Galaxy’). M63 was discovered by Pierre Méchain on June 14, 1779. The galaxy was then listed by Charles Messier as object 63 in theMessier Catalogue.

In the mid-19th century, Lord Rosse identified spiral structures within the galaxy, making this one of the first galaxies in which such structure was identified.

In 1971, a supernova with a magnitude of 11.8 appeared in one of the arms of M63.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Ian King Ikharos 8″ RC
Imaging cameras: Atik 314L+
Mounts: Software Bisque Paramount MX
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion Mini 50mm Guide Scope
Guiding cameras: QHYCCD QHY5
Software: PixInsight, Software Bisque CCDSoft 5, Software Bisque TheSkyX, iLanga AstroPlanner, Matt Thomas’s CCDCommander
Filters: Baader Luminance 36mm, Baader Red, Green, Blue 36mm
Accessories: Atik EFW2
Dates: April 12, 2013
Frames: 173×300″
Integration: 14.4 hours

Author: Colin McGill
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 05 July 2014