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NGC 4565 - The Needle Galaxy
This bright galaxy is one of the most famous examples of an edge-on spiral galaxy, oriented perpendicularly to our line of sight so that we see right into its luminous disc. NGC 4565 has been nicknamed the Needle Galaxy because, when seen in full, it appears as a very narrow streak of light on the sky.
The edgewise view into the Needle Galaxy shown here looks very similar to the view we have from our Solar System into the core of the Milky Way. In both cases ribbons of dust block some of the light coming from the galactic disc.
Studying galaxies like NGC 4565 helps astronomers learn more about our home, the Milky Way. At a distance of only about 40 million light-years, NGC 4565 is relatively close by, and being seen edge-on makes it a particularly useful object for comparative study. As spiral galaxies go, NGC 4565 is a whopper — about a third as big again as the Milky Way.
A Closeup View of the Galaxy's Edge-On Profile
Optics : GSO 8" RC + CCDT67 @ F5.3 @ 1062 mm
Camera : QSI 660 - WSG8
Filters : Astrodon Gen 2 E-Series - RGB Filter Set - 1.25"
Mount : NEQ-6 Pro (Self Hypertuned/Belt Mod)
Guiding: QSI OAG + SX Lodestar 2 + PHD 2.6.4. dev9
Acquisition : Sequence Generator Pro (126.96.36.199)
Exposure : L (1x1) - 36 x 300 3 Hours 00 Minutes
R (2x2) - 18 x 300 1 Hour 30 Minutes
G (2x2) - 18 x 300 1 Hour 30 Minutes
B (2x2) - 18 x 300 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Total Exp: - 7 Hours 30 Minutes
Calibration: Bias, Flats, Darks
Processing : PixInsight 1.8.05 (1353)