LMI: Gallery



These images were all taken as part of the commissioning process with the Large Monolithic Imager (LMI) on Lowell Observatory's 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT). These images are copyrighted, and all rights are reserved. If you plan to use any of these images for anything other than your personal enjoyment or educational/research use, please contact Kevin Schindler (kevin@lowell.edu); in general, commercial use is not allowed.

Except as noted, the images were taken by Phil Massey with the "engineering-grade" chip in 2012, and with the "science-grade" chip in 2013, and then processed using IRAF (i.e., bias removal, flat-fielding). One bad column was interpolated over with the engineering chip. Multiple exposures were then shifted using linear interpolation to a common center, and combined with cosmic-ray rejection algorithm. If needed, the final images were rotated so that N is up and E to the left.

The color images were all constructed by Kathryn Neugent using ds9 to balance the the colors, with blue assigned to the B exposures, green assigned to the V exposures, and red assigned to the R exposures. The images have NOT been photoshopped; what you see include warts and all. (For instance, close inspection will reveal that the bright stars show a small charge trail along the serial register; these trails go to the right in the unrotated images.)

Either scroll down or click on the small images above to see the description of each object. Click on the larger image to then see the full-resolution version.


NGC 891

NGC891

NGC 891 is an edge-on spiral galaxy, located about 10 Mpc (32 million light-years) away. The exposure was unguided and consistes of ten 1-min exposures in B, five 1-minute exposures in V, and six 1-minute exposures in R. This was the ``first-light" image obtained with LMI obtained on September 12, 2012. The field of view shown is 11.7 arcminutes on a side.

Minimal image credit: Massey/Neugent/Dunham/Lowell Obs./NSF
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NGC 6946

NGC6946

NGC 6946 is an Sc type spiral galaxy, rich in young, massive stars and HII regions. The galaxy is seen almost face on, and is located about 6 Mpc (20 million light-years) away. It's near the galactic plane (b=11.7 deg) and so is highly reddened by foreground dust, with about a magnitude of extinction in the V-band. This image is a color composite generated from twenty 1-min exposures in B, ten 1-min exposures in V, and ten 1-min exposures in R. The images were taken on November 20, 2012, in excellent seeing (0.6-0.7 arcsec). The image shown is 11.0 arcmin on a side.

Minimal image credit: Massey/Neugent/Levine/Lowell Obs./NSF
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NGC 206 in M31

N206Big

NGC 206 is an open star cluster in the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), located about 800kpc (2.6 million light-years) away. It is sometimes likened to h and Chi Persei, the ``double cluster" in our own Milky Way, but is much younger, about 3 million years old. The region is rich in young, massive stars, and includes many Wolf-Rayet stars. The data were taken in excellent seeing (0.7 arcsec) on November 20, 2012, and exposure times were kept short to prevent tracking errors from compromising the image quality. The color composite comes from ten 20-sec exposures in B, ten 20-sec exposures in V, and ten 20-sec exposures in R. The region shown is 11.0 arcmins on a side.

Minimal image credit: Massey/Neugent/Levine/Lowell Obs./NSF

An expanded view is shown below, of the central 3 arcmin x 4 arcmin region.

N206

Minimal image credit: Massey/Neugent/Levine/Lowell Obs./NSF
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The Moon

The Moon

The moon was at about first quarter when we shot this on November 20, 2012 in mediocre (1.0 arcsec) seeing. The image is a composite of five images that have been stitched together, and each exposure was 0.001 sec through a V filter, a testiment to our 125mm Bonn shutter.

Minimal image credit: Massey/Neugent/Levine/Lowell Obs./NSF
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M1: the Crab Nebula

M1

The Crab Nebula (Messier 1) is one of the most famous of astronomical objects, the remnant of a supernova that exploded in 1054. The event was recorded by many in that time, include the Japanese, Chinese, Arabs, and native Americans, unsurprisingly as it was so bright that it was visible during the daytime. The Crab was identified as the remnant of the 1054 supernova by early 20th century astronomers, as exposures taken a few years apart revealed that the nebula was expanding. Extrapolating back in time, astronomers realized that the expansion must have begun about 900 years earlier, coincident in time with the appearence of the "guest star" in 1054. The Crab Nebula is located about 2 kiloparsecs (6,500 light-years) away in the constellation Taurus. This color composite was made from ten 60-sec exposures in B, ten 60-sec exposures in V, and ten 60-sec exposures in R, images taken in 1.3 arcsec seeing on December 10, 2012. The shown is 7.5 arcmins on a side.

Minimal image credit: Massey/Neugent/Covey/Lowell Obs./NSF
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NGC 772

N772linear

N772streamers

N772streamers

NGC 772 is an Sb-type spiral galaxy located 30 Mpc away (100 million light-years) that has obviously undergone interactions with its smaller neighboring galaxies. The bright dwarf elliptical below the spiral is NGC 770. Note the enlongated spiral arm with blue clumps, evidence of recent star formation, likely induced by the interaction. We show here two color versions of our image, one with a linear stretch to show the beautiful nuclear region, and one with a logarithmic stretch that shows some of the faint streamers between the galaxies. The streamers are even more apparent on the black and white V-band image. The data consist of ten 60-sec B, ten 60-sec V, and ten 60-sec R frames, taken on December 10, 2012, with seeing of 1.2 arcsec. The field shown is 8.5 arcmin on a side.

Minimal image credit: Massey/Neugent/Covey/Lowell Obs./NSF
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NGC 210

N772streamers

NGC 210 is an unusually shaped spiral galaxy located 21.0 Mpc (68.5 million light-years) away. Note the delicate dust lanes near the center. Its position on the sky is far from the plane of the Milky Way (b=-76.5 deg) and hence many other galaxies are visible in this image. Some of them are physically associated with NGC 210, but not all. The small spiral at upper left is MCG -02-02-082, located much further away, at 74 Mpc (240 million light-years). The color composite came from ten 60-sec exposures in B, ten 60-sec exposures in V, and ten 60-sec exposures in R, taken on Dec 7, 2012 by Stephen Levin, with 1.2 arcsec seeing.

Minimal image credit: Levine/Neugent/Massey/Lowell Obs./NSF
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The Horsehead Nebula

horsehead

The Horsehead Nebula is a dark nebula (dust cloud) that is seen silhouetted against the purplish glowing hydrogen gas that is ionized by the nearby bright star Sigma Ori. The Horsehead is located approximately 460 pc (1500 light-years) away, in the constellation of Orion. The color composite came from three 2-minute exposures in B, three 2-minute exposures in V, and three 2-minute exposures in R, all taken with the new science-grade CCD on March 6, 2013, in 1.2 arcsec seeing.

Minimal image credit: Massey/Neugent/Lowell Obs./NSF
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The Whirlpool Galaxy

whirlpool

The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and its interacting companion (NGC 5195) are among the most well-known astronomical objects. It's located about 7.7 Mpc (25 million light-years) away in the constellation of Canes Venatici. The bright blue objects are recently-formed star clusters. This color composite came from seven 1-min exposures in B and R, and five 1-min exposures in V.

Minimal image credit: Massey/Neugent/Lowell Obs./NSF
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The Sombrero Galaxy

sombrero

The Sombrero Galaxy (M104) is a classic edge-on spiral galaxy located about 8.5 Mpc (28 million light-years) away in the constallation of Virgo, and is about 15 Kpc (50,000 light-years) across. This color composite came from seven 1-min exposures in B, V, and R obtained on 27 June 2013.

Minimal image credit: Massey/Neugent/Lowell Obs./NSF
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The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293)

Helix

The Helix Nebula is a striking planetary nebula, one of the closest to us. It's located in the constellation of Aquarius at a distance of 215 parsecs (700 light-years). It's about 0.8 parsec (2.5 light-years) in diameter. The central star is a hot white dwarf with an effective temperature of 100,000 K, and is responsible for ionizing the surrounding gas causing the beautiful nebulosity. The images were taken by Kathryn Neugent and Phil Massey on October 8, 2013, and the color composite came from ten 100-sec exposures in B, ten 100-sec exposures in V, and ten 60-sec exposures in R.

Minimal image credit: Neugent/Massey/Lowell Obs./NSF
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M74 (NGC628)

M74

M74 is a relatively nearby, face-on spiral galaxy, located about 9 Mpc (29 million light-years) away in the constellation of Pisces. It's about 26 kpc (85,000 light-years) in diameter, very similar to that of the Milky Way. The images were taken by Kathryn Neugent and Phil Massey on October 8, 2013, and the color composite came from ten 45-sec exposures in B, ten 20-sec exposures in V, and ten 10-sec exposures in R.

Minimal image credit: Neugent/Massey/Lowell Obs./NSF
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NGC 7538

N7538

NGC 7538 is an HII region that contains the most massive protostar known, one of the rare examples of a massive star in the process of forming. Located at a distance of 2.8 kpc (9,000 light-years) in Cepheus. The images were taken by Kathryn Neugent and Phil Massey on October 8, 2013, and the color composite came from ten 10-sec exposures in B, ten 5-sec exposures in V, and ten 5-sec exposures in R.

Minimal image credit: Neugent/Massey/Lowell Obs./NSF
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NGC 1275 and the Perseus Cluster of Galaxies

N1275

The Perseus cluster of galaxies is located about 73 Mpc (240 million light-years) away and is one of the most massive clusters of galaxies known. Every fuzzy thing in this image is a galaxy, with the large cD-type elliptical NGC 1275 at lower left. The images were taken by Kathryn Neugent and Phil Massey on October 8, 2013, and the color composite came from ten 100-sec exposures in B, ten 60-sec exposures in V, and ten 40-sec exposures in R.

Minimal image credit: Neugent/Massey/Lowell Obs./NSF
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M15 (NGC 7078)

M15

M15 is a rich globular cluster, with an age of about 12 billion years, making these among the oldest stars known. Located at a distance of 10 kpc (33,000 light-years) in the constellation of Pegasus, M15 has a diameter of about 15 pc (175 light-years). The images were taken by Kathryn Neugent and Phil Massey on October 8, 2013, and the color composite came from ten 60-sec exposures in B, ten 20-sec exposures in V, and ten 10-sec exposures in R.

Minimal image credit: Neugent/Massey/Lowell Obs./NSF
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NGC 7331 Group of Galaxies

n7331

The spiral galaxy NGC 7331 is the largest member of a small group of galaxies that includes NGC 7337 (lower left), NGC 7335 (larger galaxy to the upper left), and NGC 7336 (smaller galaxy to the upper left). The group is sometimes known as the "Deer Lick." The galaxies are not all physically associated with each other: the large spiral NGC 7331 is about 5-10 times closer than the smaller background galaxies. NGC 7331 is relatively close by, at a distance of 15 Mpc (50 million light-years) in the constellation Pegasus, and is sometime described as a twin to the Milky Way. The images were taken by Kathryn Neugent and Phil Massey on October 8, 2013, and the color composite came from ten 100-sec exposures in B, ten 60-sec exposures in V, and ten 30-sec exposures in R.

Minimal image credit: Neugent/Massey/Lowell Obs./NSF
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IC 342

“IC

IC 342 is a nearby spiral galaxy seen nearly face on. It's the brightest member of the IC 342/Maffei Group. Galaxies tend to be gregarious, and like to hang out with other galaxies. The Milky Way, the Andromedia Galaxy, and M33 are the three spiral members of what is known as the Local Group, which contains many dwarf members. The next nearest group is the IC 342/Maffei Group, dominated by the two large spirals IC 342 and the Maffei 1. IC 342 is located just 11 degrees from the plane of the Milky Way, and thus suffers a great deal of reddening by interstellar dust from our own galaxy, making its exact distance hard to determine; current estimates range from 1.8-6 Mpc (5.9 to 20 million light-years). These images were taken on UT Feb 20, 2014, and the color image was made from ten 100 sec expsosures in B, five 100 sec exposures in V, and five 100 sec exposures in R. The seeing was unusally poor, 2.2 arcsec.

Minimal image credit: Massey/Neugent/Lowell Obs./NSF
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M 95 (NGC 3351)

“M95”

M 95 is barred spiral galaxy located at a distance of 10.2 Mpc (33 million light-years) in the constallation of Leo. The galaxy is a member of the M96 group. The delicate blue colors denote massive stars. A Type IIP core-collapase supernova was seen in this galaxy in 2012. M 95 is sufficiently close that it was possible to unambiguously identify the precursor as a faint red star, likely a red supergiant. These images were taken on UT February 20, 2014, and consisted of ten 100-sec exposures in B, ten 100-sec exposures in V, and seven 100-sec expsosures in R. The seeing was unusually poor for the DCT, 2.3 arcseconds, due to a weather front that had just entered the area.

Minimal image credit: Massey/Neugent/Lowell Obs./NSF
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NGC 2903

“NGC

NGC 2903 is a beautiful spiral galaxy located at a distance of 9 Mpc (30 million light-years) away in the constellation of Leo. It has been described as a textbook example of an isolated late-type barred spiral with a gas-rich star-forming nucleus and bar structure. This color image is made from eight 100-sec exposures in B, five 50-sec exposures in V, and five 50-sec exposures in R, obtained on UT February 20, 2014. The seeing on these images was 1.8 arcseconds.

Minimal image credit: Massey/Neugent/Lowell Obs./NSF
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NGC 4631

“NGC

NGC 4631 is an edge-on galaxy located at a distance of 6.3 Mpc (21 million light years), in the constellation of Canes Venatici. It's sometimes known as the Whale Galaxy. There's a starburst going on in the galaxy's center, leading to lots of ionized hydrogen and a "super-wind," visible mainly in the x-ray. This image was obtained on July 1, 2014 ,and was constructed from eleven 45-sec images in B, ten 30-sec exposures in V, and ten 20-sec exposures in R. The seeing was 0.9".

Minimal image credit: Massey/Neugent/Lowell Obs./NSF
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Stephan's Quintet

“Stephans

Stephan's Quintet is a tight visual grouping of five galaxies, four of which are at at the same distance (about 100 Mpc, or 300 million light-years). The fifth (at lower left) has a considerably smaller redshift and is not physically associated with the other four, but just seen in foreground, at a distance of 12 Mpc (40 million light-years). The four true members are all interacting, and may someday merge. This image was taken and processed by students in AST 401, the Observational Astronomy course that Massey sometimes teaches at Northern Arizona University (NAU). The students selected which objects they wanted to observe with the DCT, took the images, and then processed it using skills they developed in the lab (taught by Ed Anderson). Kathryn Neugent kindly showed them how to combine the final images into color. This image was produced by Brian Barandi, who was a then a junior majoring in astronomy. The image was taken in November 2013.

Minimal image credit: Barandi/NAU/Lowell Obs./NSF
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These results made use of the Discovery Channel Telescope at Lowell Observatory. Lowell is a private, non-profit institution dedicated to astrophysical research and public appreciation of astronomy and operates the DCT in partnership with Boston University, Northern Arizona University, the University of Maryland and the University of Toledo. Partial support of the DCT was provided by Discovery Communications. LMI was funded by the National Science Foundation via grant AST-1005313.