Spiral Galaxy NGC 2903

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Clic here for 70% size 2140x1690 (843 kB)


About this Image

NGC 2903 is a beautiful barred spiral galaxy in Leo which Charles Messier missed when compiling his catalog - It was finally discovered by William Herschel who cataloged it as on November 16, 1784.
Around the central bar there is a dense area of dust, star formation areas and bright H-II emission spots. Additionally this galaxy shows a wide faint outside area filled with

Hot spots close to the center were found to be bright young globular clusters. The current star formation is most rampant in a 2000 light-year wide circumnuclear ring surrounding NGC 2903's center. Astronomers hypothesize that the gravity of the central bar expedites star formation in this ring.
The distance to NGC 2903 is approx. 22 million light years, it spans across an area of more than 110 000 light years.
North is up.
Find a wider view with the f/3 setup here.

Find more information about NGC 2903 and a Hubble close-up image here: 1.
Find an article about the star formation within the center hot spots here: 2.


Technical Details


16" cassegrain in secondary focus at f/10

Mount MK-100 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -25C, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik LRGB
Date March 11-14, 2007.
Location Wildon/Austria
Sky Conditions mag 5.5 sky, seeing 1.5-1.7" FWHM for L,
Exposure L:R:G:B = 300:80:60:80 minutes (20 minute sub-exposures)
Processing Image aquisition in Maxim, preprocessing in CCDStack; wavelet processing; color balance, curves, L blending, unsharp mask in Photoshop CS2;
north is up;