December: Test shots with new scopes/mounts
Dec 21: TMB 80/480 Arrives!
Dec 3: AP1200 Arrives!
Nov 30: TMB 152/1200 Arrives!
This is NGC 3521, a Spiral Galaxy in the constellation of Leo. Actually, NGC 3521 is more accurately described as a Flocculent Galaxy, due to its short, patchy, spiral arms. An interesting feature of this galaxy is the extensive halo above and below the plane of its spiral arms (ENE to WSW in the image), possibly caused by a past collision between NGC 3521 and another galaxy. The halo might be better resolved had the transparency been a bit better the night this was shot. This sky animation (1059 kB), each frame of which is one of the individual 8min exposures, shows clouds wiping out some of them, and the sky brightness affecting the others.
One of the more interesting features of this shot is that it captures the motion of a 17th-magnitude asteroid, namely, 3085 Donna, visible in the bottom-center of the full-size image (see link below) as a faint streak. This asteroid animation (645 kB) -- a small crop of that bottom-center region at full resolution -- shows the asteroid's movement from frame to frame. Thanks to Colin of the Digital Astro Yahoo Group for noticing the asteroid in my original image!A higher-resolution image is also available. North is up.