NGC4676a & NGC4676b

"The Mice Galaxies"

Peculiar Galaxies in Coma

Uploaded 5/10/02

Amongst all of the unusual and peculiar galaxies in the sky, The Mice are perhaps the most unusual of interacting pairs. Also known as Arp 242, this group show sprays of stellar material in both directions indicating a violent interaction between two spirals. The upper object, NGC4676a, is magnitude 13.8 and roughly 2.6 arcmins long with the tail. The bottom object, NGC4676b is a dim 14.0 magnitude, and 2.3 minutes for the main body.

The colors seen here are unusual to say the least. In the upper galaxy, a ruddy core with some dark markings is surrounded by a bluish white remnant of spiral arms. The tail is very interesting, it starts out blue and terminates in a more yellow color. This certainly is a galaxy that has had its very heart torn out! The lower galaxy, is closer to normal, a yellowish core and two arcs - arm remnants underneath bluish in color as well.

Processing: These galaxies are VERY dim. The seeing was not ideal, and I used a small amount of unsharp masking rather than deconvolution because of the noise in presenting such extremely dim objects. DDP was used sparingly to bring up the dim tails, and not burn out the much brighter cores. ( If you call 14th magnitude bright).

Instrument:  12.5" f/5 Home made Newtonian
Platform:  Astrophysics 1200 QMD
CCD Camera:  SBIG ST7E w/Enhanced Cooling
Exposure:  LRGB = 60:20:20:20 (RGB Binned 2x2)
RGB Combine Ratio:  1: .95: 1.8
Filters:  RGB Tricolor
Location:  Payson, Arizona
Elevation:  5150 ft.
Sky:  Seeing FMHW = 2.5 arcsec, Transparency 8/10
Outside Temperature:  10 C
CCD Temperature:  -25 C
Processing:  Maxim DL, Photoshop, AIP4WIN, PW Pro.




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