Focal Pointe Observatory
Astrophotography by Bob Franke

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NGC 3226 & 3227

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12.5" RCOS @  ~f/9 (2880 mm fl) 1.28 arcsec / pixel.  Zoomify image scale is 1.28 to 3.33 arcsec / pixel.


Paramount ME


SBIG STL-11000 w/ internal filter wheel, AstroDon Filters

Acquisition Data

3/15/2010 to 4/13/2010 Chino Valley, AZ... with CCDAutoPilot3 & CCDSoft.


Lum    360 min (24 x 15 min, bin 2x2)

RGB    270 min (  6 x 15 min each, bin 2x2)


  • CCDSoft, CCDStack, Photoshop CS w/ the Fits Liberator plugin. Noel Carboni's actions and Russell Croman's GradientXTerminator.

  • eXcalibrator for (u-g), (g-r) color calibration, using 7 stars from the SDSS database.

  • PixFix32 (pre-beta) to repair hot/cold pixels and column defects.

  • CCDStack to calibrate, register, normalize, data reject, combine the sub exposures, LRGB color, and luminance deconvolution.

  • PhotoShop for LLRGB combine &  on-linear stretching.


North is to the top.

NGC 3227 is a spiral galaxy that is interacting with the dwarf elliptical galaxy NGC 3226. The galaxies are located in the constellation Leo, at a distance of about 66 and 73 million light-years respectively. The interaction between the two galaxies has formed an interesting looping tidal tail to the north. Although not visible in the upper image, there is a long thin tail extending straight down, to the south, from NGC 3227.

The lower-left, highly stretched image clearly shows the extent of the northern tidal loop and the long tidal tail to the south. Unfortunately, the light rays, from the nearby magnitude 2 star Algieba, are also greatly enhanced.

To the right, and down 24 degrees, is a more distant pair of galaxies that appear to be interacting... with PGC 30397 on the left and PGC 1605532 to the right. The two galaxies are at distance of about 595 million light-years. To the left of PGC 30397, a possible large arching tidal tail is visible. There is also a much fainter tail directly south of PGC 1605532, but this may be the result of the author's imagination.