This galaxy has been on my (light)bucket list for a while and with a few clear nights ahead I finally had the opportunity to go ahead. This faint object requires a lot of exposure time before the shape of the outer arms is visible. During the last night the moon phase was already at 30%, which didn’t help. This twisted galaxy is a tough nut to crack!
NGC 3718 is the galaxy in the upper-right corner of the image and lies at a distance of 52 million lightyears in the constellation of Ursa Major. Its distinctive shape is likely the result of gravitational interactions with the smaller spiral galaxy, NGC 3729, to the left. Below NGC 3718 is the Hickson Compact Group 56, which consists of five interacting galaxies. These galaxies aren’t smaller. Instead, they are about eight times further away than NGC 3718 and NGC 3729.
Telescope: Astrosib RC250 @ f/6 f=1500mm
Mount: Mesumount 2
Guiding: OAG with Lodestar
Exposure: 32x10min L + 9x10min RGB each
Date: March 6th & 7th, 2014
Location: Overijse, Belgium