Current Projects: The Needle Galaxy

The Needle Galaxy

From Wikipedia: "NGC 4565 (also known as the Needle Galaxy or Caldwell 38) is an edge-on spiral galaxy about 30 to 50 million light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices.[2] It lies close to the North Galactic Pole and has a visual magnitude of approximately 10. It is known as the Needle Galaxy for its narrow profile.[4] First recorded in 1785 by William Herschel, it is a prominent example of an edge-on spiral galaxy. NGC 4565 is a giant spiral galaxy more luminous than the Andromeda Galaxy.[6] Much speculation exists in literature as to the nature of the central bulge. In the absence of clear-cut dynamical data on the motions of stars in the bulge, the photometric data alone cannot adjudge among various options put forth. However, its exponential shape suggested that it is a barred spiral galaxy.[7] Studies with the help of the Spitzer Space Telescope not only confirmed the presence of a central bar but also showed a pseudobulge within it as well as an inner ring.[8] NGC 4565 has at least two satellite galaxies, one of which is interacting with it.[9] It has a population of roughly 240 globular clusters, more than the Milky Way.[6] NGC 4565 is one of the brightest[10] member galaxies of the Coma I Group.[11][10] This edge-on galaxy exhibits a slightly warped and extended disk under deep optical surveys- likely due to ongoing interactions with neighboring satellite galaxies or other galaxies in the Coma I group. The GALEX image shown below highlights the slight warp at the edge of the disc more clearly than other surveys."

Data acquisition: Barry Wilson & Steve Milne Processing: Barry Wilson

TEC 140; GM2000HPS UP II; QSI690wsg-8; Astrodon filters; Lum 54 x 600s; RGBeach 40 x 300s; total integration 19 hours; March 2021, e-Eye, Spain.


I have been fascinated with astronomy since childhood ever since I read Patrick Moore's "The Observer's Book of Astronomy" and became a devotee of BBC's "The Sky at Night". This website aims to display what can be achieved by an amateur astrophotographer in their backgarden - Totnes, Devon, UK, in my case - equiped with dedication, patience and perseverance, especially from my family!  I also share a remote observatory in Spain with Steve Milne, equipped with our own equipment, setup by ourselves and jointly operated and controlled.

Clear Skies!

Barry Wilson

© Barry Wilson 2020.

All images on this website are not to be reproduced or used without permission.

Nebulae images

IC 2177 The Seagull Nebula

IC 2177 The Seagull Nebula

This is a 'work in progress' image as we gather the data for a HOORGB image which will take a couple of seasons to gather the necessary data. The four panels have the minimum data really to produce this test image and we do in fact have two further panels for a row across the bottom of the image but as yet no data! This target is low even at e-Eye's latitude and so imaging in the turbulent lower atmosphere we are relieved to see little distortion and refraction effects on the RGB channels for the stars.

I have wanted to image this very pretty target for some time and am delighted we have persevered sufficiently for an HaRGB image. So I am pleased to add my version to the many fine Seagull (or Parrot) Nebula images posted recently.

From Wikipedia: "C 2177 is a region of nebulosity that lies along the border between the constellations Monoceros and Canis Major. It is a roughly circular H II region centered on the Be star HD 53367. This nebula was discovered by Welsh amateur astronomer Isaac Roberts and was described by him as "pretty bright, extremely large, irregularly round, very diffuse." The name Seagull Nebula is sometimes applied by amateur astronomers to this emission region, although it more properly includes the neighboring regions of star clusters, dust clouds and reflection nebulae. This latter region includes the open clusters NGC 2335 and NGC 23."

Tak FSQ106; 10 Micron GM1000HPS; QSI683wsg-8; Astrodon filters; Ha 36 x 1200s; RGB 24 x 600s each channel each panel; 28 hrs total integration. E-Eye Extremadura, Spain. January to February 2019.

Data acquisition: Barry Wilson & Steve Milne.
Processing: Barry Wilson.