Object Data: NGC 3718 is an interesting and unusual galaxy in Ursa Major with an apparent magnitude of 10.5. Note the unusually symmetrical dust lane bisecting the nucleus. It has faint spiral arms which extend by almost 9 arc minutes to the north and south, the inner portions of which can be seen in this image (decrease the ambient illumination as necessary to see them). Also the interesting galaxy quintet designated Arp 322 can be seen to the south of NGC 3718 (to the right of this image). The individual galaxies were catalogued by Hickson and are designated Hickson 56A on the left through Hickson 56E on the right. Strong gravitational interaction can be seen between the central three galaxies.
Location: Southern France
Conditions: Calm, moderate dew, transparency=7, seeing=7
Optics: RCOS 12.5" Ritchey-Chretien working at f/9
Mount: AP 900 GTO on Portable Pier
Camera: SBIG ST-8E / CFW-8
Guiding: Integral ST-8E autoguider
Exposure: LRGB: Luminance: 8x 20 minutes; RGB: 2x 20:20:32 minutes binned 2x2
Processing: Image acquisition and initial processing using Maxim DL, subsequent processing in RegiStar and Photoshop.
Notes: Please see my later image of NGC 3718 here.