NGC 5395 and NGC 5394 - the Heron Galaxy
NGC 5395 and NGC 5394 - the Heron Galaxy
NGC 5395 and NGC 5394 - the Heron Galaxy
NGC 5395 and 5394 are two interacting galaxies in the constellation of Canes Venatici. NGC 5395 is the larger galaxy, and NGC 5394 is the smaller galaxy at the top. NGC 5394 is believed to have cart wheeled through NGC 5395. Also known as Arp 84, the two galaxies bear a striking resemblance to a blue heron. At a distance of 165 million light years, the galaxies appear quite small in our skies - subtending an angle of only 2.7 x 1.3 arc minutes.

Close inspection of the image will reveal a number of faint background galaxies.

In this image, North is up. This image is cropped to 40% of the original full frame.

Exposure Details
Lens Celestron C-8 SCT with Celestron focal reducer
Focal Length 1160mm
Focal Ratio f/5.8
Mount Schaefer GEM - 7 1/2 inch Byers gear
Guiding ONAG On-Axis Guider, Lodestar autoguider, PHD Guiding
Camera Canon 450D - Gary Honis modified (Baader Mod)
Exposure 170 subexposures of 300 seconds each at ISO 1600 - 8 1/2hours total
Calibration 30 darks, 30 flats, 30 bias
Date June 5, 6, and 7, 2013
Temperature 61F on 6/5, 65F on 6/6, 70F on 6/7
SQM Reading 21.55 (Bortle 4) on 6/5, 21.45 on 6/6 and 6/7
Seeing 4/5 on all 3 nights
Location Pine Mountain Club, California
Software Used Images Plus 5.5 for camera control, calibration, stacking, digital development, advanced Lucy-Richardson deconvolution, multiresolution sharpening, smoothing and noise reduction. Photoshop CS5 used for levels and curves, color correction, selective color, vibrance, match color, high pass filter, star shrinking, lab color, saturation adjustments, and screen mask invert. Gradient Xterminator for gradient removal. Carboni Tools for noise reduction and smoothing. HLVG for additional color correction. Focus Magic for focus restoration
Notes While this is a fascinating combination of galaxies, it turned out to be rather challenging for me to capture with my C-8. The galaxies are quite small, and the details are very fine. I'm happy with the details I was able to capture, but these beautiful galaxies really demand a more capable telescope to capture the intricacies of their interaction.