NGC 6503 - A Dwarf Spiral Galaxy in Draco
NGC 6503 - A Dwarf Spiral Galaxy in Draco
NGC 6503 - A Dwarf Spiral Galaxy in Draco
NGC 6503 is a dwarf spiral galaxy that resides on the edge of a section of space known as the Local Void - a region of space nearly absent of any galaxies or other features. The galaxy is about 1/3 of the size of our Milky Way galaxy, thereby earning the "dwarf" classification.

In this image, North is up. This image is cropped to 67% of the original full frame.

Exposure Details
Lens Explore Scientific ES152 F/8 Carbon Fiber ED APO Refractor
Focal Length 1216mm
Focal Ratio f/8
Mount Schaefer GEM - 7 1/2 inch Byers gear
Guiding QSI 690 OAG, Lodestar Autoguider, PHD2 Guiding, Starlight Xpress Adaptive Optics @ 5-10 Hz
Camera QSI 690wsg-8 (set point -10C) with Astrodon Gen II Series E LRGB filters
Exposure Lum: 56x600, RGB: 21x21x21x300 all binned 1x1 (14.5 hours total exposure)
Calibration 50 darks, 40 flats, 200 bias
Date May 19, 21, 25, 26, 27, and 28, 2017
Temperature 5/19-45F, 5/21-58F, 5/25-45F, 5/26-38F, 5/27-50F, 5/28-55F
SQM Reading Bortle 4 on all nights - 5/19-21.45, 5/21-21.55, 5/25-21.65, 5/26 and 5/27-21.55, 5/28-21.35
Seeing 3/5 on 5/25 and 5/28; 4/5 on 5/19, 5/21, 5/26, and 5/27
Location Pine Mountain Club, California
Software Used Sequence Generator Pro for image capture, Astro Pixel Processor for calibration, pedestal addition, normalization, integration, and initial DDP stretching. Images Plus for star size reduction, edge masking, feature mask, and noise reduction. Photoshop CS5 used for levels and curves, saturation adjustments, selective color, match color, and high pass filter. Gradient Xterminator for gradient removal. Carboni Tools for additional noise reduction and smoothing. Registar 64 for stack alignment. Focus Magic for focus restoration. PlateSolve 2 for plate solving.
Notes Unfortunately, when I was capturing this image, I had just started using my ES152 6" refractor. The telescope had some severe problems with astigmatism, and it made for very poorly shaped stars and a loss of much detail. I almost didn't want to post this image because it's quite lacking. But, after you invest 20+ hours into imaging and processing, I guess I may as well show something!

I sent the telescope's lens cell back to the manufacturer, and it came back much improved but still not quite right. I'll be sending it back once again and hopefully they'll finally have it all corrected!