M 102 - Lenticular Galaxy in Draco

M 102 (also known as NGC 5866) lies approximately 44 million light years away in the constallation of Draco, the dragon. It is the largest member of a small cluster of galaxies - the M 102 group. It spans 35,000 light years, one-third that of the Milky Way.

M 102 was discovered by Peirre Mechain in 1781. Charles Messier included it in his catalog without confirming its coordinates. This raised the question of whether this object was a duplicate of M 101.

M 102 is categorized as a lenticular galaxy. These are an intermediate between an elliptical and spiral gaxay. They have a disc with a central bulge but no spiral arms.


Telescopes: Luminance: C11 Edge
Color: TS-Optics 10in. f/5 Newtonian
Cameras: Luminance: ST-8300
Color: Modified Canon 650D; ISO 1600
Mount: iOptron CEM60
Guiding: QHY-5L-II M on 60mm guide scope

Luminance: 30 @ 5 min.
Color: 18 @ 5 min.


The luminance and color images were aligned in RegiStar. They were combined and adjusted in Photoshop. Topaz Detail and DeNoise were applied.


Color images were shot from my backyard observatory in southeastern Minnesota on 4/19/2020. The luminance image was obtained in 2014.

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