Observing Report 7th-8th February 2011 (More Messiers)

Posted by @ 9:40 pm on Monday 28th February, 2011.

Just this one and then I'm up to date...

It was a really cold night but at least it was clear - there haven't been many decent nights here lately so it was a case of "use it or lose it". The main purpose was to get in an intensive imaging session with the baby R-C scope, taking light, dark and flat frames for objects at various image scales.

Target-wise, I had a bash at a couple Messier Objects - M100 and M101. Neither of these filled the D50's sensor, and they're both quite dim objects, so more and longer exposures and a lot of post-processing ops were going to be needed to get decent-sized crops from the data. As ever, it didn't work out as intended - all of the flats were rubbish due to a problem with the lightbox, and a fair few lights had to be scrapped due to issues with guiding.

Anyway, after much jiggery-pokery, here are the results:

M100 (aka NGC 4321), a face-on spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices.
NGC 4327, 4328, 4323, 4322 & IC 783 are also just about visible as faint fuzzy bits.
Subs: 10 light @ 300s, darks, ISO200.
D50 on the
6" R-C, guided with PHD.

 M101 (aka The Pinwheel Galaxy, NGC 5457), a face-on spiral galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major.
Subs: 20 light @ 300s, darks, ISO200.
D50 on the
6" R-C, guided with PHD.

Next time I'll get it right and hopefully the results will be much better.

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2 Responses to “Observing Report 7th-8th February 2011 (More Messiers)”

  1. Daniel says:

    What kind of telescope do you need to see that?

    It looks amazing.

  2. BG! says:

    @Dan - Good question.
    I got the images using one of these >>> http://beardedgit.com/?p=5340 but what you see above is digitally enhanced.
    To actually "see" such faint things in any detail, you'd need a scope with a bigger aperture, say 12" dia minimum, and a quality eyepiece.
    Oh, and you'll need a cloudless night with no light-pollution.
    And an understanding family.
    And a cat that doesn't sneak into the observing shed and pull out all the wires.

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