The center of M94 is very bright. The spiral galaxy has a ring of newly formed stars surrounding its nucleus, giving it not only an unusual appearance but also a strong interior glow. A leading progenitor hypothesis holds that an elongated knot of stars known as a bar rotates in M94 and has generated a burst of star formation in the inner ring. Recent observations have revealed the outer, fainter ring is not closed and relatively complex. M94 spans about 30,000 light years, lies about 15 million light years away, and can be seen with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici).
Orion Optics UK AG16 Astrograph: SBIG 11000 M: Paramount ME2 Mount
Data capture with CCD Autopilot and TheSkyX Pro, with Tpoint
Image processing with CCS Stack; Pixinsight; Photoshop CS5
L 15x 10 mins; R 7x5 mins; G & B 8x5 mins: Core Lum 6x3
285 mins total: 4hr 45mins, all binned 1x1