Obscured Galaxy IC342


Terry Hancock


Location: DownUnderObservatory, Fremont, MI
Captured September 24th 2016
Size: 4540×3630 pixels
QHY16200A monochrome CCD cooled to -20C
QHYOAG-M Off Axis Guider
LUM 60 min, 12 x 300 sec 2×2
RGB 180 min, 12 x 5 min 2×2
Filters by Optolong
Astro-Tech AT12RC with AP 2.7″ Reducer @F6.2
Paramount GT-1100S German Equatorial Mount
Image Acquisition Maxim DL
Pre Processing Pixinsight
Post Processing Photoshop CS6

The spiral Galaxy IC342 otherwise known as Caldwell 5 lies at a distance of 10 million light years in the Constellation Camelopardalis. IC342 is wider than a full moon and one of the largest galaxies in angular size however as it lies close to the galactic equator it is severely obscured by the dust and splendor of our own Milky Way Galaxy making it a difficult and quite faint object to observe or capture.

I was blessed to have close to ideal sky conditions on the night of capture for what is possibly my last Deep Sky Object to capture from Michigan. The low read noise and the sensitivity of the QHY16200 Mono CCD together with binning 2×2 made this all possible from only bortle 4.0 sky.