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Dates & Location

January 30 - March 29 2009 from the SMAP site at Weed, New Mexico. Elevation 7269 ft. Lat 32.8°N Long 195.5W

Catalogue identification

NGC 3718 - Large galaxy
NGC 3729 - Smaller galaxy

Equipment Used

Officina Stellare RC400 at 3304 mm focal length.
Paramount ME German Equatorial Mount.
Camera SBIG ST-11000M.SBIG FW-8L Filter Wheel.

TheSky V6 Telescope control
MaxIm DL V4.53 Camera control.


Where it is in space

In the constellation of Ursa Major, North is up, east is left. See the description below credited to Adam Block.
Acquisition Remote session using RADMIN PC control from Ravenshead, UK.
LRGB exposures:- 220:60:60:80mins total, L = 10 min sub-exposures, RGB = 5 min sub-exposures
  What it is

Careful inspection of the full field of view reveals a surprising number of galaxies both near and far toward the constellation of Ursa Major. The most striking is NGC 3718 - a warped spiral galaxy found near picture center. NGC 3718's faint spiral arms are twisted and extended, its bright central region crossed by obscuring dust lanes. A mere 150 thousand light-years to the left is the large spiral galaxy, NGC 3729. The two are likely interacting gravitationally, accounting for the peculiar appearance of NGC 3718. While this galaxy pair lies about 52 million light-years away, the remarkable Hickson Group 56 can also be seen clustered just below NGC 3718. Hickson Group 56 consists of five interacting galaxies and lies over 400 million light-years away.

Processing Methods

Images acquisition and telescope control with MaxIm DL V4.53  
  Data reduction and Luminence De-convolution with CCDStack.  
  Master RGB image and Master Lum Image finished with Photoshop CS2.