Messier 63 – The Sunflower Galaxy in LRGB with some help

The Sunflower Galaxy

After the NGC 4945 I came back to M63 the Sunflower Galaxy, is a spiral galaxy in the northern constellation of Canes Venatici. I made the RGB version using the beautiful photo from Dean Jacobsen’s Astrophotography website.

Messier 63
Type: Galaxy
Coordinates: 13h15m49.33s, +42d01m45.4s
Redshift: 0.00161
Distance from Earth: 30 Million Ly
Velocity: 700 Km/s
Size: 110000 Ly
Messier 63 in Canes Venatici

With IRIS I found quite easy to align the luminance with a complete different photo, and the result is outstanding. Frankly I am not good at taking RGB images, it takes much more time and resources, and if we are talking about remote telescopes, well it takes also more money, so I had the idea to take the colors from images already out on Internet, leaving the right credits of course, and I am loving the results!

The only requirement in order to use the colors from other photos is to find a field of view more or less similar to the luminance frame that you shot and then you just need to split the color picture into RGB channels, do the registration with the luminance frame and then use whatever method you have in your application to combine the luminance frame with the three channels R G B. The resolution and all the details of course will be from the Luminance frame only, what you take from the other photo is only colors, nothing else.

The RGB photo from Dean Jacobsen’s Astrophotography website.

What is fun about this method is that you can take any multispectral image, not just those made using RGB filters. Some of the more beautiful images are the combination of several narroband filters, for saying a few, Ultraviolet, Oxigen-III, H-alpha, Sulfur-II, and of course these filters increase the details in the picture after they are combined together, that is something you can’t take from these images but the color combination is easy to apply to your black and white shot.

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