Skies By Africa

Images of the Heavens By Eric Africa

NGC 2403

The constellation Camelopardalis (translation: Giraffe!) lies in the northern sky between Ursa Major (which contains the Big Dipper) and Cassiopeia (the "W" or "M" - shaped constellation that is host to a lot of nice big nebulae such as the Heart and the Soul). Camelopardalis is host to a few interesting galaxies, one of which is presented here.

NGC 2403 can be found in the aforementioned constellation of Camelopardalis, and is estimated to be about 8 million light-years away. It has a resemblance with M33, with its loose spiral structure and wealth of star-forming HII regions. A supernova was detected in this galaxy back in 2004, though I was not able to shoot the galaxy with the supernova. In fact, this image represents my first ever attempt at shooting this galaxy!

I don't believe I have ever attempted viewing this galaxy visually from our back yard. I did see it at a very dark site in New Mexico through a 25" reflector in 2008 (the same night I viewed M33), and if my memory serves me well it was a very nice view of this galaxy.
Constellation: Camelopardalis
When Visible: November - March
Distance: 8 Million Light-years
Date: December 2013 - January 2014 (New Year's Day!) - one imaging run was over New Year's Eve!
Location: Rancho Hidalgo, New Mexico
Exposure Details:
L: 49 x 10 Minutes binned 1x1
R: 18 x 10 Minutes binned 1x1
G: 18 x 10 Minutes binned 1x1
B: 18 x 10 Minutes binned 1x1

More than 17 hours total imaging time
Equipment Used: 12.5" PlaneWave CDK on a Software Bisque Paramount ME mount. SBIG STL-6303 camera with 5-position filter wheel, AO-L Adaptive Optics Unit, Pyxis Rotator and Astrodon LRGB filters
Acquisition Software : MaximDL, TheSky6, CCDAutopilot
Processing Software: MaximDL, Adobe Photoshop CS5, Carboni Tools, IrFanView