The Antennae Galaxies: NGC 4038 - 4039 (Ring Tail Galaxies)
Images Copyright 2006, Dick Locke.  All Rights Reserved.  Contact and Image Use Information  Noise Reduction example with this image here.

The Antennae Galaxies: NGC 4038 - 4039

Images of two colliding galaxies leaving long, dim tails.  The tails are more visible in the larger frames, below...  Also known as the Ring Tail Galaxies.

Antennae View - Close-up of the colliding galaxies

The above view shows the dim, antenna trails, along with some of the noise and processing artifacts due to extreme image stretching.  Below is a full frame crop, processed to show the tails.

Full Frame Picture of the Antennae Galaxies

The above version is processed to best show the tails.  I had great guiding on this one but my focus wasn't totally dead on.  It's always something!  These galaxies lie between Corvus and Crater, and were around 30 degrees above the southern horizon when I shot them.  Having good access to the southern objects is a nice feature of the Houston, TX area...  You can see some exaggerated star halos due to my imperfect focus and the processing to bring out the tails.  NGC4027 is the galaxy on the lower right.

Some good information on these irregular galaxies is contained here.  Also, Seds has some good info.

Exposure details: 10 x 4 = 40 total minute exposures on 3/25/2006 at the HAS site near Columbus TX USA.  More exposure would be better!   Takahashi TOA 130 (a 5" APO refractor) and Canon EOS D20a.   My current image processing workflow is here.

This shot is used in my "noise in astrophotography" page.

The other HAS Pix from 3/25/2006 are here.

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