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NGC 4631 The Whale Galaxy

NGC 4631 The Whale Galaxy in the small northern constellation of Canes Venatici , this galaxy has a central starburst area, which has an intense star formation. The star formation is in the emission from of ionized hydrogen and interstellar dust and is heated by the stars formed in the starburst.  The massive stars in star formation only burn hydrogen gas through fusion, and then they explode as super novae. Many super novae have exploded in the center of NGC 4631 they are constantly blowing gas out from the central plane of the galaxy.

The Whale Galaxy is a huge edge-on spiral galaxy, which is apparently distorted by its small elliptical companion, NGC 4627 which is located just above the Whale and is sometimes referred to as the Calf so we have come to know this collection as “The Whale and Calf.”, they were discovered by William Herschel in 1787. The main disk is not perfectly flat but shows "warps" on both sides. The different colors in the image represent different states of stellar evolution. The disk of NGC 4631 shows many blue knots whose light is dominated by young massive stars. The Galaxy is about 28 million light years away and is about 140 thousand light years in diameter.

This image is lacking more data the session was a relatively short  and I need to gather more data to improve on the details that are available.


This image was taken April 27, 2013

This image consists of : 6 X 10mins RGB, 12 X 10mins L     Total time = 5 hours









Hyperion 12.5 Astrograph

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Oak Hills Observatory

Mountain Instruments MI250

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Takahashi  FS-60c

Hesperia, California


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