Wrapping up galaxy season

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Wrapping up galaxy season


Post by timh »

Time of the year to finish with galaxies ....

Just thought that I'd post up a few of my better 'end of season' galaxy images. All using the F 4.0 VX12 and ZWO ASI 294 cameras - sometimes supplemented with a few good frames from the PDS200 taken last year (obvious where stars exhibit 8 rather than 4 diffraction spikes). Techniques exactly the same as previously posted for M51, M94 and M101 so no point labouring that again i.e. so generally

1) about 3-3.5 h of OSC frames
2) sometimes sharpened at the core by mixing in the luminance from ~ 40-50 min of short (3-5s) exposure mono frames to construct a high dynamic range luminance channel - sometimes also combining this process with some sharpening via deconvolution
3) sometimes adding HA into the red channel to higlight the HA features of galaxies
4) mainly all at Bortle 6

M63 - the sunflower galaxy. I really like this object. One of the few astro objects truly worthy of it's name. This galaxy exhibits lots of bright fine structure near the centre and here adding the deconvoluted mono luminance was worthwhile and added real detail. Adding in HA also nicely localized star forming regions within the galaxy.

M81 - the HA detail is attractive but there is no fine structure at the core (that I could detect anyway) to justify trying to improve sharpness. So this picture is purely OSC frames plus HA at Bortle6.

M109 family - This barred spiral galaxy is rather distant (55 Mly or more) and part of the attraction is also to visualise its orbiting family of smaller galaxies. So no supplementation with HA (not detected very efficiently anyway because of red-shift to the edge of the filter pass band) but included more than an hour of frames under Bortle4 skies since the main imperative for this image was simply to gather more photons.

M106 - the extra HA arms are a really key and interesting feature of this galaxy. So the HA was imaged for longer (2.5h). There is also some fine detail near the core and so mono luminance and deconvolution were alos used for this image. The added detail is rather subtle but the image is clearly improved.

Hope next year to add M64 and a few others under dark skies if possible ...

1aa_mini81.jpg (835.74 KiB) Viewed 107 times
1aa_minisun.jpg (865.51 KiB) Viewed 161 times
1aa_mini109.jpg (842.42 KiB) Viewed 161 times
1aa_mini106.jpg (950.82 KiB) Viewed 161 times
Last edited by timh on Thu May 12, 2022 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wrapping up galaxy season


Post by oopfan »

Oooo, nice Tim. I want me a big, fast telescope like yours!

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Re: Wrapping up galaxy season


Post by timh »

Hi Brian, Yes I must admit it does make a difference and especially for these small objects - I am really pleased with the VX12 because at F 4 it is noticeably quicker to accumulate a decent image - and given limited clear sky opportunities - that really is quite a telling advantage. I was also pleasantly surprised just how sharp and easily focused it is despite being fast. But the refractor has its place. It is quite a logistical challenge just to get the big scope physically in place, collimated, temperature equilibrated and balanced etc before you even start - and any wind speed above 6-7 mph is too much. So the refractor will be coming out again in a couple of months for a quick set up, easier transport and those wide NB shots of summer nebulae. Tim
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Re: Wrapping up galaxy season


Post by Menno555 »

Nice final season collection Tim!
Very detailed overall!

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Re: Wrapping up galaxy season


Post by turfpit »

Nice collection Tim - the VX12 looks good value. I note the wind issue - my Celestron C8 with dew shield can only really be used below winds of 10mph.

Goodbye 'Galaxy Season', hello 'No Astronomical Dark' season for me.

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