Spiral galaxy in Draco.  NGC 6503 is about 4 arcminutes west of an 8th magniude star, which can help in locating the galaxy. At magnitude 10.2, NGC 6503 is fairly bright for a galaxy, and at an estimated distance of about 17 million light years, it is one of the closer galaxies to Earth. It can be seen in even small telescopes. Visually, it has an obvious elongated shape. Through my 18-inch telescope, the interior of the galaxy has a mottled texture, and its edges have an irregular outline.

Image details:  18 images, each 150 seconds at ISO 1600, taken with a Canon 400D camera through a Meade 12” telescope at f/10.  Image processing with ImagesPlus and Photoshop.

July 2009