Spiral Galaxy IC 342

clic for 36% size 1440 x 958 (372 kB)

Clic here for 60% size 2400x1598 (823 kB)


About this Image

The extended galaxy IC 342 in the constellation Camelopardis lies at low galactic latitude. It is only 10.5 degrees from the Galactic Equator, or the Milky Way's disc plane. Therefore, it is heavily obscured by interstellar matter of the Milky Way; recent estimates give an extinction of about 2.4 magnitudes; without this extinction, this galaxy would be among the brightest in the sky, and certainly have been discovered much earlier.

IC 342 forms a group with some large and many dwarf galaxies, the so-called IC 342/Maffei group. It is one of two dominating members of that group, the other being the elliptical galaxy Maffei 1, which is even more obscurred.
IC 342 may have undergone a recent burst of star formation activity and it's deformed arms are showing some influence from gravitational interaction.
The distance to IC 342 is approx. 10 million light years, it spans in diameter more than 75 000 light years.
North is down.

Find more information about IC 342 and a professional image from NOAO here: 1.


Technical Details


16" cassegrain in secondary focus at f/10

Mount MK-100 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -20C, 8-pos STL filter wheel
Filters Baader LRGB +H-alpha
Date Oct-Nov 2008.
Location Wildon/Austria
Sky Conditions mag 5.5 sky, seeing 1.5-2.4" FWHM
Exposure Ha:L:R:G:B = 180:480:150:120:150 minutes (in total 18 h)
(15 minute sub-exposures for LRGB, 30 min subs for H-alpha)
Programs used: Maxim DL 4.5;
Photoshop CS3