Messier 100 - NGC 4321
Spiral Galaxy Type - Sbc,
Constellation - Coma Bernices,
Distance - estimated to be approximately 65-70 million light years distant,
Size - 130,000 light years across.
This large spiral galaxy resides in the Coma-Virgo Galaxy Cluster, a large group of galaxies seen in the constellations of Virgo and Coma Bernices. M100 lies approximately 65-70 million light years away and is slightly larger than our own Milky Way galaxy at 130,000 light years in diameter. The bright knots in the spiral arms are large nebulae where star formation is actively taking place [or was taking place 65-70 million years ago when the light captured by my camera left M100]. It is interesting to remember that the light that was used to create this picture left M100 at about the time that the dinosaurs on earth suffered their mass extinction. Also, note the numerous background galaxies seen in the frame.
February 7, 2008
A sum of 30 six minute images for a total exposure time of 3 hours
Anza-Borrego Desert, San Diego County, California,
RC Optical Systems 10" Ritchey-ChrÃ©tien,
Mount - Astro-Physics AP 1200 GTO
Camera - SBIG ST-10XME