I shot this picture of Messier 94 with my Canon DSLR and my big 9 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain scope. This galaxy is considered an active galaxy, and has a very violent nucleus. It is theorized to hold a super-massive black hole. It is very dusty, and the collapse of the dust into the nucleus is thought to be producing an outburst of star formation, called a "Starburst". The faint glowing cloud surrounding it is a very dim halo of stars, offset from the central arms and "starburst" ring. The whole effect makes it appear similar to an "eye" floating in space.
This image is a compilation of nearly 2 hours worth of images.
All images on this site were taken at my observatory, Skunky Acres Observatory, located at 7000 feet above sea level, high in the mountains of New Mexico. Skunky Acres gets its name from the prodigious skunk levels of the surrounding area (it was either that or Skunkapalooza).
Equipment roster: 8" F7 Planetary Newtonian Reflector 8" F4.5 Newtonian Reflector 6" Schmidt-Cassegrain (piggyback on 100mm achro) 9.25" Schmidt Cassegrain 100mm F6 Achromatic Refractor 80mm F6 Stellarvue Nighthawk II Refractor SBIG ST7 CCD DSI Pro CCD Orion Starshoot DSCI Canon 300D DSLR Lots of junky guide-scopes. and various other bits...
Note: Please adjust the brightness and contrast on your monitor so that you see each bar of the color bar as a distinct shade. The darkest one should be Black (not dark gray), the lightest White.
It is critical that your monitor be adjusted properly in order to see these images correctly.
Note: Ocasionally I run images and highlight views of subjects which have a scientifically controversial nature. I do not espouse any of these ideas over the more scientifically accepted theories. I feel that a little controversy breeds healthier discussion.