Skywatcher Snaps Beautiful Photo of Massive Spiral Galaxy

Barred Spriral Galaxy M 109 by Franke
Bob Franke took this photo of barred spiral galaxy Messier 109 from Focal Pointe Observatory in Chino Valley, Ariz., from March 13 to May 6 and released to SPACE.com July 10, 2013.
(Image: © Bob Franke / Focal Pointe Observatory)

Astrophotographer Bob Franke captured this image of stunning barred spiral galaxy Messier 109 from Focal Pointe Observatory in Chino Valley, Ariz.

Located about 60 million light-years from Earth in the northern constellation Ursa Major, M 109 or NGC 3992, is a massive galaxy roughly 120,000 light-years in diameter. This image also captures three galaxies identified left to right as UGC 6969, UGC 6940 and UGC 6923. [65 Amazing Galaxy Photo Hits]

"The galaxy is visible in binoculars as a faint fuzzy patch," Franke wrote on his website, bf-astro.com.

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Franke used a 12.5" RCOS telescope at ~f/9 (2880 mm fl), 0.64 arcsec / pixel, a Paramount ME mount, SBIG STL-11000 with internal filter wheel, and AstroDon Gen II Filters to capture the image. The image was taken from March 13 to May 6 and released to SPACE.com July 10. You can see more of Bob Franke's astrophotography here.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

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