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M100 - Spiral Galaxy
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M100 - Spiral Galaxy
Near Lindbrook, Alberta, Canada
2015-May-09
LRGB 15x4min each, total 4 hours
SGP, MaximDL, CPT
E11, 0.7xFR, 8300M, EQ8, A80Mf, LSX2
M100 is an excellent example of a Grand Design Spiral Galaxy. It is located in the constellation Coma Berenices and is one of the brightest in the Virgo galaxy cluster.

This is my first dark-sky picture taken with the STF-8300M camera. The raw images was were collected over two successive nights during May of 2015 at a local dark site about an hour from the city. The raw images are monochrome and I used LRGB filters to capture the color and luminence data. There was little over an hour of exposure for each filter.

Edmonton is located around 53° north so in May there are only a few hours of total darkness per night. The image here is comprised of nearly every minute of available exposure time over two nights. A few frames were rejected due to things like satellite tracks and guiding glitches but in the end I was able to use four hours of good data.

The galaxy itself proved to be somewhat of a challenge to process. The core is much brighter than the arms so it’s hard to find the right balance between brightness and contrast Too much and the core burns out. Too little and the arms disappear. So I settled on a compromise. The core is a bit too bright, the arms a bit too dim, but you can in fact see both so that’s how I left it.

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