A bright but fuzzy local spiral galaxy, which at +8 magniude is well within the reach of small amateur telescopes like mine.
Some say it’s a member of the Sculptor Group, others say it isn’t. I wouldn’t know but at a distance of 6.6 million light years it’s a relatively close neighbour of ours.
This was a 70 minute exposure, taken on a recent field trip.
When I watch images of galaxies like this gradually building up on the screen of my laptop, I inevitably ponder the chances of there being any intelligent life over there. Maybe they’re training their own backyard telescopes back towards the Milky Way and asking the same question.
Maybe they’re just microbes.
We haven’t found any evidence of advanced civilisations here in the Milky Way yet – after several decades of an increasingly sophisticated radio search. If we can’t find them here then we’ll never detect life in another galaxy.
However, it’s always inspiring to look, speculate and dream.
Designation: NGC 300, Caldwell 70.
Visual magnitude: +7.9
Apparent size: 19′ x 13′
Diameter: 94,000 light years.
Distance: 6.6 million light years.
Altitude during exposure: 67° above Eastern horizon.
That’s all, except for the technical stuff.
Exposure: 73 x 58 sec = 70.5 min.
Image acquisition: SharpCap.
|Telescope:||SkyWatcher Esprit||Type:||120ED triplet refractor|
|Focal:||840 mm F/7||Mount:||SkyWatcher EQ6-R Pro|
|Camera:||ZWO ASI 071 MC Pro
||Type:||CMOS 28.4mm 16 Mpx
|Optical aids:||Flattener: Y; filter: LP||Guiding:||No|
|Polar aligning:||QHYCCD PoleMaster||Polar Error:||00’ 38”|
[ZWO ASI071MC Pro]
Auto Exp Target Brightness=100
Image © Roger Powell