Click on image for larger version.

M94 is an interesting galaxy due to its waves of star formation. Near the nucleus there are chains of pink star forming regions - almost as if some pebble was dropped into this galactic pool of gas. Outside of this inner radius more regular spiral arms present dim dust lanes with smaller regions of activity. Currently there isn't a very good estimate on the distance to this galaxy. Most sources place it between 15 to 20 million light years away. In the zoomed out picture shown here (left) note there is a very dim circular halo of M94's galactic stars. (click on the image to see the full resolution format) This image was processed in such a way to try to show these features as well as the very bright central regions simultaneously. The difference in brightness takes up the full dynamic range of the data. The professional NOAO picture also shows this feature (at the expense of the color information).


20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.4
Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount
SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

L R G B color production was used to create this image.

Luminance = 93 minutes binned 1x1
Red = 20 minutes binned 2x2
Green = 20 minutes binned 2x2
Blue = 30 minutes binned 2x2

  • Very aggressive non-linear processing was applied to this image. It was difficult to maintain relative colors- but this image is reasonably faithful.
  • In order to prevent the nucleus of the galaxy from saturating, individual exposures were 200 seconds in length (for the luminance data).
  • Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the the very dim and very bright details of the image simultaneously.

  • Minimum credit line: Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF

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    Updated: 03/15/2004