M63 = NGC5055 ( 13h 15.8m +42°02´, 8.6 mag. )
Sunflower Galaxy in Canes Venatici was discovered by Mechain in 1779 and Messier observed it on June 14 same year. It is located about 23.5 million ly away and measures 86,000 ly across. Its compact internal spiral arms spread into impressive outer "petals". M63 can be glimpsed with binoculars about 5°20' NE of a Canum Venaticorum (see finder chart below).
The image above was taken on May 4, 2002 from Harrowsmith, Ontario using Cookbook 245 LDC CCD camera on Ultima 8 f6.3 telescope, autoguided with Cookbook 211 LDC CCD camera on piggybacked 500mm f8 telephoto lens. It is composed of ten white integrations (240 sec. each) combined in AIP4WIN.
North is to the left.
Map created in Guide 7.0 - 7°45' x 7°45'. North is up.
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© Jan Wisniewski