The Needle Galaxy, California

The Needle Galaxy
Darwin Plateau, California   –   April 13, 2021
— Ralph Paonessa
Takahashi FSQ-106EDX III refractor + 1.6X   *   f/8

The Needle Galaxy (NGC 4565, Caldwell 38) is a very large spiral galaxy 30-50 light years away. From Earth, it happens to be seen edge-on. The central bulge is partially blocked by dust lanes in the plane of the spiral.

In this image, I can see a haze of blue stars (hot and young) in the outer arms, circling a bright orange core.

Total exposure 11.1 hours. LRGB composite of 44 monochome exposures through the filters:

- Luminance - 14 x 15 min = 3.5 hr

- Red - 9 x 15 min = 2.3 hr

- Green - 12 x 15 min = 3 hr

- Blue - 9 x 15 min = 2.3 hr

I can spot at least seven other small galaxies in this image; some of them are satellites of NGC 4565.

Photographed over several nights from the desert Darwin Plateau, Inyo Mountains, California. Bortle 1 skies, elevation 4,828 ft.

Stacked and processed in PixInsight, and adjusted in Lightroom.

Photo ID: Needle Galaxy NGC 4565 LRGB