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Dates & Location

October 2nd - 17th November 2011 using the SMAP site at Weed, New Mexico. Elevation 7269 ft. Lat 32.8°N Long 195.5W  

Catalogue identification

NGC 6951,
Foreground nebulosity = galactic cirrus above the Milky Way

Equipment Used

Officina Stellare RC400 at 3304mm focal length
Paramount ME German equatorial Mount
Camera SBIG ST-11000M with FW-5L filter wheel.
TheSky V6 telescope control
CCDSoft V 5.0 camera control.


Where it is in space

In the direction of the constellation of Cepheus at a rough distance of 75,000,000 light years. It can be found approx 3.2° north of ThetaCepei. In this image, north is up.rthnorth of

Remote session using RADMIN PC control from Ravenshead, UK.
LRGB exposures:- 300:120:120:120 mins total using 20 min L and 10 min RG and B sub-exposures at -20
°C and -25°C. All images binned 1x1. AllC

  What it is

NGC 6951 is a face-on Barred Spiral Galaxy of low surface brightness. It is classified as a Seyfert Type II galaxy because of its bright star-like nucleus. Astronomers believe that Seyferts, and other galaxies with "active nuclei", harbor giant Black Holes at their center. As gas spirals into the Black Hole, it heats up and radiates as much energy as the rest of the galaxy. An image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope(HST) shows that NGC 6951 has a ring of new star formation surrounding the bright object in its center. This ring contains several bright knots that the HST shows to be giant star clusters. Other studies show that gas is flowing in toward the center through the bar structure, and this gas is being used in the star-forming ring. The galaxy is about 85,000 light years in diameter.

Processing Methods

Image acquisition and telescope control with CCDSoft V5. Remote acquisition sequence program CCDAutoPilot.  
  Data reduction and Luminence De-convolution with CCDStack.  

Master RGB image and Master L Images prepared and finished with Photoshop CS2. Final LRGB image using PhotoShop CS2