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Dates & Location

7th - 27 th March 2011 using the SMAP site at Weed, New Mexico. Elevation 7269 ft. Lat 32.8°N Long 195.5W  

Catalogue identification

NGC 3239
Arp 263

Equipment Used

Officina Stellare RC400 at 3278mm focal length, F8.2.
Paramount ME German equatorial Mount.
Camera SBIG ST-11000M with FW-5L filter wheel.
TheSky V6 telescope control.
CCDSoft V 5.0 camera control.
ScopeDome remote observatory.


Where it is in space

In the constellation of Leo. NGC 3239 has an integrated magnitude of 11.1 but its apparent visual size is quite small at 4.5 x 2.4 arc minutes. It is located about 6.5 degrees NE of the star Alpha Leonis, Regulus. In this image North is down. The whole field is littered with distant galaxies of different shapes and sizes, but in order to bring NGC 3239 into the viewers focus, the image has been cropped to about 50% of its original star field size.

Remote session using RADMIN PC control from Ravenshead, UK.
Exposures: 21 x 20min Luminance:180:150:140 mins R:G:B, using 10 min sub-exposures
-25°C. All images binned 1x1. AllC

  What it is

NGC 3239 is an irregular galaxy which appears to have had a close encounter or maybe a merger with another galaxy in the past. There is a hint that the core of the galaxy is partially intact at the lower right from the
bright foreground star near its centre. The galaxy is estimated to be 49 million light years distant. It still has active star forming regions which glow in the light of ionised Hydrogen. This image does not show these as no Ha images were taken at the time.

Processing Methods

Image acquisition and telescope control with CCDSoft V5/ TheSky6.  
  Data reduction with CCDStack. Lum and RGB masters prepared in CCDStack. Lum master deconvolved in CCDStack.  

Final RGB combine and LRGB processing using PhotoShop CS2.