Observing Report 7th-8th March 2011 (Even More Messiers)

Posted by @ 8:30 am on Monday 21st March, 2011.

Usual story... sub-zero, still and clear... out with the baby R-C scope looking at more Messier Objects. Different camera, though - I'd sold a few redundant items and used the proceeds to get a refurbished Canon 1000D body at a knock-down price. Time to give it a trial run.

Imaging-wise the process wasn't much different, with the exception of the need to take bias-frames to counter the read-out signal of the camera's CMOS sensor - this is something that I never had to do with the Nikon D50, as the CCD sensor in it has a very low read-out signal. Still, it's a small price to pay for not having to contend with long-exposure amp-glow - the Nikon had a bit of it, the Canon has none at all. Oh, and I was using different capture software - APT - which turned out to be excellent.

Anyway, I'll let the results do the talking:

M51a (aka NGC 5194), an interacting spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici.
M51b (aka NGC 5195) is the smaller companion galaxy.
Subs: 20 light @ 300s, darks and bias frames, ISO400.
1000D on the
6" R-C, guided with PHD.

 As previous, cropped, enhanced and over-cooked.

M12 (aka NGC 6218), a globular cluster in the constellation Ophiuchus.
Subs: 9 light @ 300s, dark and bias frames, ISO400.
1000D on the
6" R-C, guided with PHD.

 The Leo Triplet - M65 (NGC 3623, upper-right), M66 (NGC 3627, lower-right) and NGC 3628 (lower-left) - a group of galaxies in the constellation Leo (as if you hadn't worked that out already).
Subs: 15 light @ 300s, dark and bias frames, ISO400.
1000D on the
6" R-C, guided with PHD.


Methinks I'll get to like this Canon a bit sooner than I thought.

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6 Responses to “Observing Report 7th-8th March 2011 (Even More Messiers)”

  1. Fraser says:

    Impressive, you must be pleased with these...

  2. BG! says:

    Yes, I'm quite chuffed. I've some more to post later, a bit of a mixed bag.

    How are you and your O/H getting on with your her scope, Fraser?

  3. Fraser says:

    Not bad thanks, not much in the way of clear skies up here recently, although she was delighted to see Saturn for the first time with Rhea and Titan. She's been piggybacking her SLR for some moon shots too. Now we just need to move to Chile or somewhere...

  4. BG! says:

    Saturn's an inspiring sight, no? Imaging it with a suitable webcam is cheap fun - just in case you're not aware of what's needed, have a look at http://www.morgancomputers.co......goryID=556

    Give us a nudge if/when she puts those moon shots on-line, and if you do go to Chile give me a shout and I'll carry your bags :mrgreen:

  5. Fraser says:

    It is indeed, glad I didn't go for a GOTO scope, half the fun/frustration is trying to find stuff and learning the sky.

    She's not uploaded the one from a few days ago yet, here's one from a while back: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35770940@N05/

    I don't think the scope is really ideal for moon imaging, f5 doesn't seem to deliver enough DOF across the whole lunar surface. But imaging wasn't really the primary concern anyway. I'll bookmark that in case we every decide to give imaging Saturn a go!

  6. BG! says:

    That's a fine pic from a piggy-packed camera setup, Fraser. Visual and digital DOF and resolution will always be problems as the target is so far away and there's relatively little relief. Full Moons are the worst, as the front-lit face shows little contrast or shadow. Imaging-wise an f/5 scope should be fine for the Moon, it may be worthwhile taking multiple shots through the scope or the camera-lens and either stacking them with astro software or merging them with Photoshop's HDR thingy. If you have a tele-converter (2x or so) it may be worth having a pop with that too.

    Top tip: if you get a chance, have a look for M13 (The Hercules Cluster).

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