Messier 74 is a fine example of a spiral galaxy. This galaxy is believed to be approximately 95,000 lights years in diameter thus making it approximately the same size as our Milky Way galaxy. This image clearly shows knots of blue which are clusters of young blue stars and also pink regions of diffuse nebula.
This galaxy is number seventy-four in Charles Messier's catalog. Messier described this object on October 18, 1780 but it was reported to him by Pierre Mechain who first observed it in September 1780.
More on Messier 74 can be found at: http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m074.html The approximate distance of Messier 74 is 35 million light years.
October 2 and 4, 2005
Luminance - a sum of 14, eight minute exposures for a total exposure time of 112 minutes.
RGB - 5 x eight minute exposures for each color channel at 2x2 binning.
Hole-in-the-Wall Campground, Mojave National Preserve, California
Optics - RC Optical Systems 10" Ritchey-Chretien
Mount - Astro-Physics AP 1200 GTO
Camera - SBIG ST-10XME