M74 (also known as NGC 628) is a 10th magnitude spiral galaxy found in the constellation Pisces (the Fishes). It is 10.4' by 9.5' in size, and 35 million light years away. The pink areas are star forming regions.

The raw data for the image above also contained an asteroid (24560) 4517 P-L. The data was reprocessed into a movie that shows it off. The image above doesn't show 4517 P-L at all due to median combines of the subframes.

In January of 2003 I learned of a recent supernova (SN 2002ap) that is also captured in the above image. SN 2002ap was discovered January 29, 2002 by Japanese amateur Yoji Hirose. Actually it is a Type Ib/c-pec known as a Hypernova. Hypernova can be 100 times more powerful than an average Supernova and surely create a black hole.

Calibration was done in MaxIm DL, alignment was done with Mira AP, and LRGB layering was done with Photoshop.  With an average altitude of 61 degrees, I balanced this to an RGB ratio of 1.14 : 1.00 : 2.06. The data was taken November 1, 2002 with the 12" LX200, AO7, and ST-8E camera from my home dome on Mistletoe Rd, Monmouth Oregon.


Exposure Count Binning
Luminance 90 min 9 x 10 min 1x1
Red 20 min 2 x 10 min 2x2
Green 20 min 2 x 10 min 2x2
Blue 40 min 4 x 10 min 2x2