M63, or the 'Sunflower Galaxy', is one of the first galaxies where spiral structure was first detected, in 1850.
It's about 37 million light years away, in the constellation of Canes Venatici, and is part of the M51 group of galaxies.
It is known as a 'Flocculent' galaxy. A wonderful description.

This was the first image where I really had to spend a long period of time gathering data...it took about a month to get the subs for this....most of May and a little of June 2008, due to our wonderful weather. Grabbing the odd 2 or 3 subs between the clouds, and prepared to pull the tarpaulin out at any minute.
I was sick of looking at it by the time I'd done!

When I had my first bash at processing it, to be honest, the way it was coming out, I didn't think it had been worth the struggle, so I put it away for June and came back to it fresh quite a while later.
While going through images for the website, I decided to deal with a strong magenta cast that had always bothered me with this image.
When I first processed it, I didn't know how to deal with the cast, but a year on I understand a little more about processing.

Click on image below for full size version



Imaged May/June 2008.
Colour balance reprocess June 2009.

Telescope. 14 inch LX200GPS.

Camera. Atik 16 HRC.

I'm not quite sure how many subs eventually got used, but in total I had 11hrs 48 minutes of data and I reckon there's probably 9 hours or so in this.
RGB subs were all 6 minutes each, binned 2x2. Luminance was a combination of 10 minute, 6 minute and 4 minute subs.