IC 342 (IC=Index Catalogue)(also known as Caldwell 5) is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Camelopardalis. The galaxy is near the galactic equator where dust obscuration makes it a difficult object for both amateur and professional astronomers to observe, though it can readily be detected even with binoculars. The dust of the Milky Way makes it difficult to determine the precise distance; modern estimates range from about 7 Mly to about 11 Mly.
IC 342 is one of the brightest two galaxies in the IC 342/Maffei Group of galaxies, one of the galaxy groups that is closest to the Local Group. The galaxy was discovered by William Frederick Denning in 1895. Edwin Hubble first thought it to be in the Local Group, but later it was demonstrated that the galaxy is outside the Local Group.
In 1935, Harlow Shapley declared that this galaxy was the third largest spiral galaxy by angular size then known, smaller only than the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and the Triangulum Galaxy (M33), being wider that the full moon. (Modern estimates are more conservative, giving the apparent size as one-half to two-thirds the diameter of the full moon).
Imaging telescopes or lenses: Telescope Services 10″ F/4 Carbon Imaging Newton
Imaging cameras: SBIG ST-10XME
Mounts: Sky-Watcher HEQ6 Pro
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Teleskop-Service 8×50 Finderscope
Guiding cameras: Lodestar Autoguider
Focal reducers: Baader Planetarium MPCC
Software: Steve Brady Larry Weber FocusMax, Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight Core 1.8, CCDWare CCDAutoPilot 5, Diffraction Limited MaximDL 5, Software Bisque, Cynogen, TheSkyX Professional Edition, Adobe Photoshop CS5, CCDWare CCD Inspector
L: 21 x 300 sec. (105 min).
R: 10 x 300 sec. (50 min).
G: 10 x 300 sec. (50 min).
B: 8 x 300 sec. (40 min).
Total exp.: 245 min.
SENSOR TEMP: -20˚C
Author: Emiel Kempen
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 20 Aug 2014