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M94 Galaxy - The Cat's Eye Galaxy
Messier 94 (M94), also known as Cat’s Eye Galaxy or Croc’s Eye Galaxy, is a spiral galaxy located in the constellation Canes Venatici.
The Cat’s Eye Galaxy has an apparent magnitude of 8.99 and lies at a distance of 16 million light years from Earth. It has the designation NGC 4736 in the New General Catalogue.
Messier 94 occupies an area of 11.2 by 9.1 arc minutes of apparent sky, which corresponds to a linear extension of 50,000 light years. The galaxy can be spotted with binoculars under exceptionally good conditions, but only appears as a small, dim patch of light. Even small telescopes will reveal the object as a galaxy. Smaller instruments show M94 as a fuzzy patch with a brighter centre, while 6-inch and 8-inch telescopes reveal a bright, condensed nucleus surrounded by a nebulosity that hints at spiral structure. Larger amateur telescopes reveal a bright ring around the galaxy’s nucleus and other details of M94’s structure.
Messier 94 can be found 3 degrees east and a little south of Chara, the second brightest star in Canes Venatici. Chara lies a little more than 5 degrees northwest of Cor Caroli, the constellation’s brightest star. Cor Caroli can be found under Alkaid, the star that marks the tip of the handle of the Big Dipper asterism in Ursa Major. The best time of year to observe M94 is during the spring.
Messier 94 is estimated to contain 40 billion stars. The galaxy is receding from us at approximately 308 km/s. Its main disk is about 50,000 light years in diameter, but the galaxy has a considerably fainter outer ring that extends for at least another 30,000 light years.
Messier 94 is classified as a LINER galaxy, or a galaxy with a low ionization nuclear emission region (LINER). This means that the nucleus of M94 contains ionized gas, but that the gas is only weakly ionized.
Some sources classify M94 as a barred spiral, but the galaxy’s “bar” structure appears more oval-shaped.
Optics : GSO 8" RC + CCDT67 @ F5.4 @ 1058 mm
Camera : Atik - 414 EX Mono + EFW2 Filter Wheel
Filters : Astrodon Gen 2 E-Series - RGB Filter Set - 1.25"
Astrodon 5nm H-Alpha Narrowband Filter - 1.25"
Mount : NEQ-6 Pro (Self Hypertuned/Belt Mod)
Guiding: Atik OAG + SX Lodestar 2
Acquisition : Sequence Generator Pro (126.96.36.199)
Exposure : L (1x1) - 107 x 300 8 Hours 55 Minutes
R (2x2) - 26 x 300 2 Hours 10 Minutes
G (2x2) - 26 x 300 2 Hours 10 Minutes
B (2x2) - 26 x 300 2 Hours 10 Minutes
Total Exp: - 15 Hours 25 Minutes
Calibration: Bias, Flats
Processing : PixInsight 1.8 (1195)