Astrophotography by David Gares

Spindle Galaxy NGC 3115 (Caldwell 53)

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NGC 3115, the "Spindle Galaxy" is a lenticular galaxy, small in apparent size and reasonably bright.  Galaxy NGC 5866 shares the same name.  For many years I've given up on galaxies due to light pollution here at home, but this one seemed possible so I went for it (little else was available).  NGC 3115 is believed to have a two-billion solar mass black hole at its center, making it the closest black hole to Earth greather than one billion solar masses.  The long focal length at f/10 helped to reduce skyglow.

Galaxy NGC 3115
(Click image to enlarge)


 Object Details:  
 Type:  Lenticular S0 Galaxy
 Constellation:  Sextans
 Distance:  31.6 million light-years (5%)
 Apparent Size:  7.2 x 2.5 arc min
 Actual Size: 66,000 x 23,000 light-years

Image Details: 
 Scale: 136,000 x 92,000 light years
 Date:  2-Feb-2013
 Site:  Harahan, LA
 Conditions:  Average
 Exposure:  25 x 4 min.
 Filter:  IDAS LPS-V4 48mm
 Processing:  MSB Astroart 5.0
 Telescope:  8" Celeston EdgeHD
 Reducer:  f/10.0 reduced to 75% 
 Image CCD:  SX SXVF-H9C
 Guide CCD:  SX  MX7C
 Guide Scope:  AT66ED / ScopeStuff TB2X