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M63 ‘The Sun Flower Galaxy’ by Dave Collings

Submitted by Chelsea Chin

M63: The Sun Flower Galaxy

This is M63 ‘The Sun Flower Galaxy’.  It took me 6 weeks to capture all the data needed for this LRGB image due to weathering.  I finally got it done after capturing 10 hours of LRGB data.

  • Plane Wave 12.5” CDK telescope with the PW 0.66 Reducer on an Astro Physics 1100 GTO CP4 mount.
  • Main camera is an ATIK 16200 Mono CCD with an ATIK EFW3 Filter wheel with Chroma LRGB Ha & OIII,  SII,  HA 3nm filters.
  • Guide scope is Astromania 400mm Refractor with an ASI 290mm guide camera.
  • A total of 10 hours of imaging was used to create this beautiful LRGB image of M63 “The Sun Flower Galaxy’.
  • All sub-frames were 300 sec. each gathering 4 hours of Luminance, 2 hours each Red, Green and Blue.
  • Voyager software is used for capture and running the entire observatory.  PixInsight was used for stacking the subs and editing to bring out all the fine detail of M63.

“I imaged M63 ‘The Sun Flower Galaxy’ 5 years ago that was published in Sky & Telescope magazine, but this image, today, of M63 using my Plane Wave 12.5” CDK telescope is 3 times the quality and details my old published image from just 5 years ago! Again, it sure says a lot about Plane Wave telescopes!”


David Collings – Blue Ridge Observatory | Sparta, North Carolina  USA