NGC 4490 (and NGC 4485) make a highly distorted pair of galaxies. Located in Canes Ventacti, this pair of galaxies is similar to M51, The Whirlpool Galaxy in that is shows two interacting galaxies. However, unlike M51, these two galaxies have already crossed paths and may not come to meet again. In 2008, a supernova was observed in NGC 4490, the larger of the two. At magnitudes 9.8 and 12.5, respectively, these two galaxies are relatively bright amongst galaxies – but also have a very small apparent size — 6′x3′ for NGC 4490 and only 2′x1.5′ for NGC 4485. Distance is estimated to be 50 million light years.

NGC 4490, 4485, Cocoon Galaxy

NGC 4490, 4485, Cocoon Galaxy


This image is comprised of two nights work comprising 15x 10 min + another 8x 5 min exposures using the AT10RCF mounted on the CGE Pro. Captured in MaximDL, processed in Nebulosity, and then painstakingly worked in Photoshop CS5. I now have a whole new appreciation for the spot healing brush!

It seemed really difficult to pull the fine details out of the dust lane of 4490. I tried creating masks heavily dithered to add back in but most just seem to create more noise instead of improve contrast. Any suggestions?

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