Color-composite CCD image of M108 by Bill Keel of the University of Alabama. The image clearly shows dust structures of substantial thickness in the galaxy disk; even though it is several degrees from edge-on, substantial dust shows up in front of the nuclear bulge.
This color composite is from B and I images (with synthetic V) taken during twilight with a Tektronix 2048x2048 CCD at the prime focus of the 4-meter Mayall telescope of Kitt Peak National Observatory. North is at the top and east to the left, for direct comparison with a chart or eyepiece view. The image has been block-averaged to 512x512 for this presentation, which uses a logarithmic intensity transformation to preserve information across a wide dynamic range. The field is 7.1x8.3 arcminutes. A few of the brighter field stars saturated the CCD so strongly that some of the electric charge bled along columns, giving the vertical streaks from several stars.
M108 is a type Sc spiral galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major, seem almost edge-on. This galaxy shows little or no bulge and no noticeably strong center, being a motley collection of features often referred to, in classic understatement, as very dusty. The spiral structure is not very clearly delineated, unsurprisingly. M108 is around 40 to 50 million light years away in a loose galaxy grouping, the Ursae Major Cloud, which includes M109.
This picture was created from observations using the T2KA CCD camera at the
Kitt Peak National Observatory's 0.9-meter telescope in January of 1997.
Gorgeous detail is visible in this image of the dusty edge-on spiral galaxy M108.
The image was obtained by participants George and Betsy Crossley within their stay
with the Advanced Observer Program
Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) Visitor Center, with the AOP's Meade
16-inch LX200 telescope operating at f/6.3 and SBIG ST8E CCD camera with color
filter wheel. It was processed by Adam Block. It is a composite of four CCD
exposures: L, Luminance = 40 min, R, Red = 14 min, G, Green = 14 min, and B, Blue =
Credit: George and Betsy Crossley/Adam Block/AURA/NOAO/NSF
Last Modification: 1 Jun 1998, 19:05 MET