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Dates & Location

12th -13th January 2010 using the SMAP site at Weed, New Mexico. Elevation 7269 ft. Lat 32.8°N Long 195.5W  

Catalogue identification

NGC 3184

Equipment Used

Officina Stellare RC400 at 3304mm focal length.
Paramount ME German equatorial Mount.
Camera SBIG ST-11000M with FW-8L filter wheel.
TheSky V6 telescope control.
CCDSoft V 5.0 camera control


Where it is in space

In the constellation of Ursa Major. Visual magnitude 9.6. NGC 3184 is approximately 7.4 x 6.9 arc minutes in apparent size. In this image South is up and East is to the right.

Remote session using RADMIN PC control from Ravenshead, UK.
LRGB exposures:- 320:80:80:60 mins total, using 20 min sub-exposures for Luminance and 10 min for RGB at
-30°C. All images binned 1x1. AllC

  What it is

NGC 3184 is a mixed Barred - Nonbarred Spiral, mixed S-shaped - Inner Ring, Luminosity class II-III. Although NGC 3184 contains hundreds of billions of stars, the blue color of its spiral arms comes mostly from relatively few bright blue stars. The galaxy is not empty of matter between these spiralarms - the bright stars that highlight the arms were created in huge density waves that circle the center. Visible with a small telescope close to Mu Ursa Majoris, light takes about 25 million years to reach us from NGC 3184, and about 50,000 years just to cross it. NGC 3184 Hubble type Sbc) is notable for its high abundance of heavy elements and a supernova that occurred in December 1999.

Processing Methods

Image acquisition and telescope control with CCDSoft V5/ TheSky6.  
  Data reduction and Luminence De-convolution with CCDStack. RGB colour channels prepared in CCDStack.  

Master RGB image and Master Lum Image finished with Photoshop CS2.Final LRGB image using PhotoShop CS2.