M64 - "Black Eye Galaxy" in Coma Berinices

 

M 64 is a spiral galaxy that lies 72 milliion light years away in the constellation of Coma Berenices. It commonly know as the Black Eye galaxy due to the thick band of dust surrouning its core. It was discovered by Edward Piggot in 1799 and Charles Messier added it to his catalog the next year.

M 64 is peculiar in that it is rotating in the opposite direction of the dust and stars within it. This is likely due to its merger with a satellite galaxy over a billion years ago.

 

Telescope: C11 @ f/10
Mount: Takahashi EM-200 Temma
Cameras: Apogee AP6Ep; Pentax LX
Guider: SBIG STV on Taurus Tracker
Film: Fuji S-800
Exposures: 6 @ 5 min. (AP6Ep); 30 min. (S-800)
Processing: CCD images were aquired and combined with MaxIm DL/CCD. The CCD and film images were layered in Photoshop. The final image was adjusted, cropped, and sharpened.
   
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