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Click on Image to switch to Annotated View.

                                                      NGC 3718, NGC 3729 and Hickson 56 Group

    Amazing pair of galaxies, NGC3718 and NGC3729, that lies toward the Ursa Major constellation. The peculiar S-shaped disturbed look of NGC3718's arms is believed due to gravitational interaction with it's smaller companion, NGC3729.  Both of the galaxies are classified as barred spiral galaxies, but as seen from the image their look obviously differs their designation. One of the amazing features of NGC3718 is the twisted dust lane that is crossing the core of the galaxy. It does have an unusual look of some kind of swirled medallion with the pearl inside, as my wife says...

     Another interesting object is seen on this image just above the NGC3718. This is a smaller interacting group of 5 galaxies called Hickson 56 Group. This group lies much, much farther from us and its about 7 times farther than the NGC3718 and NGC3729 galaxies, which are approximately in a distance of 52 million light years.

     This field in the sky is very reach with even smaller and fainter galaxies. I have lost count of how many of them are seen in this image. There are literally dozens of them  and in Annotated version I marked most of the brightest and larger ones. Amazingly, going deep as 12 hours from desert skies allowed me to catch very faint galaxies, faint as 22g magnitude.

     This image was made in 4 nights during March and April 2017. 


Technical Info:

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 ( 

Exposure :       L     (1x1) - 363 x 120    12 Hours  6 Minutes 

                      R     (2x2) -   30 x 180     1 Hours 30 Minutes

                      G     (2x2) -   30 x 180     1 Hours 30 Minutes

                      B     (2x2) -   30 x 180     1 Hours 30 Minutes

                      Total Exp: - 16 Hours 36 Minutes

Calibration:     Bias, Flats, Darks

​Processing :    PixInsight 1.8 (1195)

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