Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mirach's Ghost

NGC 404 near Mirach. Click to enlarge

Continuing my Black Friday imaging blitz, I came across this galaxy while recalibrating the telescope's setting circles on Mirach, a bright star in Andromeda. I was making sure they were as accurate as possible while heading to the quasar 3C 48. On such a bright star a CCD image will show beautiful diffraction spikes and a gradient of grays that to me are nearly the best thing out there. So while taking some images for that one of the stars looked a bit fuzzy, and sure enough NGC 404 popped out. Phil Plait has a nice post about it, and that post was the push to complete this round of processing.