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IC342, a dusty spiral

Submitter: Albert van Duin
Description: IC 342 is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Camelopardalis. The galaxy is near the galactic equator (zone of avoidance) where dust obscuration makes it a difficult object for both amateur and professional astronomers to observe, though it can readily be detected even with binoculars. The dust of the Milky Way makes it difficult to determine the precise distance; modern estimates range from about 7 Mly to about 11 Mly.

The galaxy is one of the brightest two galaxies in the IC 342/Maffei Group of galaxies, one of the galaxy groups that is closest to the Local Group. The galaxy was discovered by William Frederick Denning in 1895. Edwin Hubble first thought it to be in the Local Group, but later it was demonstrated that the galaxy is outside the Local Group.

In 1935, Harlow Shapley declared that this galaxy was the third largest spiral galaxy by angular size then known, smaller only than the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and the Triangulum Galaxy (M33), being wider that the full moon. (Modern estimates are more conservative, giving the apparent size as one-half to two-thirds the diameter of the full moon). IC342 has an H II nucleus. (source: Wikipedia)

The image consists of 23, 600s integrations, 6 each for RGB, and 5 for Luminance, acquired from a backyard in Beilen, with a 0.4m reflector equipped with a cooled CCD. Image calibration and processing was done with PixInsight.
Copyright: http://www.astrobin.com/users/Albert_van_Duin/
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