IC 342 The Hidden Galaxy

Photo Details:

Telescope: TEC140 f/5.2

Camera: QHY695A

Mount: Paramount MyT

Exposure: L 45x600s, binx1

Date and place: 10.2019, Observatory E-EyE, Fregenal de la Sierra, Spain

IC 342 is an interesting spiral galaxy that is also known as Caldwell 5. The galaxy is located close to our galaxy’s galactic plane. This means that we are looking through much of our own galaxy to see this much more distant galaxy. Because of this, IC 342 is partially obscured by our galaxy’s interstellar material. For this reason, it is often called the “Hidden Galaxy”. As far as galaxies are concerned, IC 342 is fairly close to us – it is one of the dominant members of a galactic cluster that is very close to our Local Group. Because of its relative proximity, IC 342 would be one of the brightest galaxies in the sky if it were located farther away from the Milky Way’s galactic plane. IC 342 has a large apparent size in the sky – it is about 20 minute in diameter (about 2/3 this size of a full moon). Due to its large size and obscuration from the Milky Way, IC 342 has a VERY low surface brightness. This makes it a quite challenging object to photograph.