Best of AOP - Galaxies

M100

This spiral galaxy currently holds a unique distinction in that it is one of the furthest galaxies in which Cepheid variables have been detected. These special variable stars have a specific relationship between their period of variation and brightness. Astronomers measure the periods of these stars to learn how bright they are. By knowing how bright the star truly is and how bright it appears, astronomers can measure their distance from Earth. In general galaxies are so far away even the best telescopes in the world cannot resolve individual stars. However in some of our nearby galactic neighbors it is possible. From these measurements M100 is estimated to be 56 million light years away.

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Last Updated: 24-Feb-2014

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About This Image

Click on image for larger version.

Equipment

20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.1

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

The line beneath the galaxy is one of the ubiquitous asteroids that inhabit the ecliptic of our solar system. The line

is the amount of motion (Earth + asteroid) in two hours time.

Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the very dim and very bright details of

the image simultaneously.

Luminance = 120 minutes binned 1x1

Red = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Green = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Blue = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Minimum credit line: Curt and Sally King/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF