M77 - Barred Spiral Galaxy in Cetus

At 50 million light years away, M77 is the closest (and brightest) of the Seyfert galaxies. This is a class of galaxies that contain large, expanding regions of gas in their nucleus, suggesting a high rate of star formation.

Telescope: Orion 10 in. f/4.9 Newtonian
Mount: Losmandy G-11 Gemini
Camera: Modified Canon T2i (550D); Raw capture; ISO 1600
Guiding: Orion SSAG on Lumicon 50mm Super Finder
Exposures: 40 @ 240 sec. (2.5 hrs.)
Notes: Images were focused using Live View. The subframes were aligned and combined in ImagesPlus. The final image was adjusted in Photoshop.
Shot from my backyard observatory in southeast Minnesota on 12/25/11. Outside temp: 17 F; Humidity: 65%
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