Finally processed this data of M63, the Sunflower Galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. This required quite a bit of work in PixInsight to fix residual gradients, and it has taken me a while to get to the point where I have a final image that I’m happy with. As always, I’m sure I will come back to this and reprocess when I have more experience with PixInsight. I can already see some image defects I could do a better job with, but I’ll let it go for now.

Capturing the data was a bit of a mad scramble, because the object was already quite low in the sky and descending towards the horizon by the time it got dark. Although the Indian Trail Spring site used for Oregon Star Party is extremely dark (genuine Bortle zero for most of the sky) there is a minor light dome on the horizon in the direction of Prineville (population: 9,223) about an hour’s drive to the West, and this happened to be exactly where I needed to image M63.

I was determined to get some decent image data of this, and each night had the telescope already set up and ready to go as it got dark, and started capturing data as soon as feasible. It took 5 nights to get a good, complete set of frames, capturing anywhere between half an hour and an hour each night.


Camera QSI583wsg
Optics Celestron EdgeHD 11
Mount Astro-Physics Mach1 GTO
Luminance 9 x 600s @ 1×1
Red 6 x 300s @ 2×2
Green 10 x 300s @ 2×2
Blue 6 x 300s @ 2×2