The Whale Galaxy is very elongated with dust lanes and bright knots. This is believed to be an Sc type spiral galaxy, and is one of the largest of the edge-on galaxies. It is nearly 25 million light-years away. The galaxy has a size of 14.0 arc-minutes x 2.0 arc-minutes. The Whale Galaxy is cataloged as a magnitude 9.3 object. NGC 4631 is in an area of the sky rich in galaxies, and tends to be overlooked in favor of other nearby bright galaxies on the Messier list. The small companion galaxy visible below NGC 4631 is NGC 4627, rated at magnitude 12.9.
This image was published by Astronomy Magazine on their web site.
This is an LRGB color composite CCD image using an SBIG ST-8E CCD at prime focus on a Takahashi FCT-150 refractor at f7. A CFW-8 color filter wheel was used to acquire the color data. The RGB images were binned 2x2, and the luminance frames were binned 1x1. The images were taken from my backyard in Scottsdale, Arizona, on three consecutive nights.
Constellation: Canes Venatici
RA:12h 42m 19.4s Dec:+32d 30' 31"
March 17, 18 & 19, 2004
Images by Sid Leach
Complete list of images.
Description of equipment used to acquire images.
Feedback and comments should go to Sid