NGC 2903 Spiral Galaxy

A magnificent spiral galaxy with TEC 140 and Atik 460

Many astronomers consider NGC 2903 the best and brightest galaxy that isn’t included in the famous Messier list and are surprised Messier himself didn’t include it in his catalogue.  It is very photogenic and brighter than several other galaxies that are included in Messier’s list such as M65 and M66.  It is located in Leo to the right of the “sickle” of Leo and is about 30 million light years distant.

Full resolution image here (opens in a new tab). If you open the full resolution image you will see many tiny, remote galaxies in the depths of the Universe.

Technical Detail

Imaged with my TEC140 telescope and Atik 460 CCD camera with Astrodon E series LRGB filters on the 25th and 26th March 2022.  The data set is as follows with the luminance binned 1×1 and the RGB at 2×2:

Lum 24 x 300s ; Red 12 x 180s ; Blue 9 x 180s ; Green 34 x 180s

(yes, I know that’s a lot of Green!  I overdid the green because I misconfigured the NINA automation software but decided to throw it all into the image anyway).

This gives a total integration time of four hours and 45 minutes in total exposure.


Annotated Version
Finder Chart

Developed in PixInsight for all pre and post processing.  Since it is a good data set all I did after preprocessing was combine the master LRGB files, apply DBE to remove background gradients (and since I am in Bortle 5 sub-urban neighbourhood there are security lights going on and off all night).  I then applied Blur Exterminator and some noise reduction.  I then stretched the image and applied a bit of colour saturation.  That’s all I did.  It took about 45 minutes in total and most of that time was waiting for WBPP to complete.

Write A Comment