Processing Images – M83 (Part 2 of 2)

In the last post we mentioned that the exposure taken with the green filter has the M83 galaxy positioned further down the image than the other 2 exposures. This meant that that we could not continue work on the image until this alignment problem was fixed. Luckily this was not too hard to fix. When you first detect a problem like this , see if the problem can be resolved by simply flipping the picture . By doing this with the green exposure, the M83 galaxy aligned perfectly with the other 2 exposures.

M83 first image 2009-08-20 (Click to Enlarge)

However, at times alignment problems like this are not so easily fixed.

On the left, we have the first result of the image processing. But  there is a problem with the result as there are green streaks running across the picture where separate parts of the picture have not been joined together completely.

The image below is the final version of the M83 Southern Pinwheel Galaxy. When processing these images, you can highlight specific features of the image and bring these feautures out more. In this case, we decided to focus on what is thought to be M83’s collision with a much smaller galaxy.

If you look on the left of the galaxy , you will see a bright red star standing out from the galaxy. We believe this is the fragmented remanents of a nucleus belonging to a small galaxy which has collided with M83 . So at this time M83 contains 2 nuclei which will at some stage form together . Each nucleus is thought to contain a black hole.

You can also see a dark band running through the galaxy which is another feature we tried to highlight.

Looking at this view of M83, you don’t see the spiral shape of the galaxy but you get a sense of what happens when two galaxies collide.

M83 Final image 2009-08-20

~ by sydneystargazers on July 25, 2010.

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