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Jon Greif

Location of Photo:

La Jolla, CA, USA

Date/Time of photo:

May 31, 2022, 11 pm to 1 am PDT


Takahashi FSQ-85ED with 1.01 Flattener, ZWO ASI533MC Pro imaging camera, Optolong L-Pro filter, ZWO 30 mm guide scope, ZWO ASI290MM mini guide camera, Rainbow Astro RST-135 mount, ZWO ASIAIR Plus controller and capture software, and Pixinsight 1.8.9 processing software on a Macbook Pro


Ever since finding out that the Sunflower was the national flower of Ukraine, I've wanted to photograph the Sunflower Galaxy (aka M63). M63 is a spiral galaxy located in the constellation Canes Venatici and lies roughly 37 million light years from Earth. M63 has a spatial diameter of 98,000 light years, roughly the same size as the Milky Way. M63 has a mass 140 billion times that of the Sun. The Sunflower Galaxy is a prototype for a class of galaxies known as flocculent spirals, because the arms appear patchy and discontinuous. The Sunflower Galaxy was discovered by Charles Messier’s friend and colleague Pierre Méchain on June 14, 1779. This was the first deep sky object discovered by Méchain. Messier subsequently included the galaxy in his catalogue as the 63rd entry. The image is an integration of 125 minutes of data.