Focal Pointe Observatory
Astrophotography by Bob Franke

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ARP 286

 

Click the image for a larger uncropped view. (2400 x 1600 1.30 MB)

Instrument

12.5" RCOS @  ~f/9 (2880 mm fl) 0.64 arcsec / pixel.  The Zoomify image scale is 0.64 to 3.59 arcsec / pixel.

Mount

Paramount ME

Camera

SBIG STL-11000 w/ FW8-STL filter wheel, AstroDon Gen II Filters.

Acquisition Data

5/29/2013 to 6/11/2013 Chino Valley, AZ... with CCDAutoPilot5 & CCDSoft.  AOL guided.

Exposure

 Lum 780 min. (23 x 30 min. bin 1x1)

RGB

540 min. ( 6 x 30 min. each bin 1x1)

Software

  • CCDSoft, CCDStack, Photoshop CS6, PixInsight and Noel Carboni's actions.

  • eXcalibrator v4.1 for (g-r) color balancing, using 54 stars from the SDSS-DR9 database.

  • CCDBand-Aid to repair STL-11000M vertical bars.

  • CCDStack to calibrate, register, normalize, data reject, combine the sub exposures, create the RGB image and selective luminance Maximum Entropy deconvolution.

  • PixInsight for gradient removal and initial non-linear stretching.

  • PhotoShop for the LRGB combine & final touch-up. 

  • Noiseware 5, a PhotoShop plug-in.

Comment

The galaxies are shown rotated 135 clockwise.

This beautiful group of galaxies is located in the constellation Virgo. The largest galaxy is NGC 5566 and is about 78 million light years distant. To the right is NGC 5569 at a distance of 92 million light-years. This galaxy shows no interaction with the other two. At the bottom, and 90 million light-years away, is NGC 5560. NGC 5566 and 5560 are an interacting pair. The nearly edge on view of NGC 5560 shows distortion. On the left end of NGC 5566, we can see a faint plume extending towards the lower galaxy.

The image contains eight distinctly blue quasars with redshifts from 0.80 to 2.14. There are also two QSO candidates.