Friday, June 16, 2017

M61

All good things must come to an end (George Harrison)!  Messier 61 is the last of the great galaxies in the Big Dipper and Virgo regions I have been imaging since February.  Although it has been fun, I am ready to move to something different such as nebulae and clusters.  Unfortunately the next set of Messier Objects are not visible from the Happy Frog Observatory located in my yard so I will have to drive to my alternate location.

M61 (or NGC 4303) is one of the largest barred spiral galaxies in Virgo and approximately 52 million light-years from Earth.  It has a diameter of about 100,000 light years which is roughly the same size as our galaxy, the Milky Way (source: Messier Objects).

Only 22 Messier objects are left on my catalog but it may take a while to image them as only about four are visible from my yard.

https://sites.google.com/site/messierobjectsed80/

Crop2

Crop

Wide Field

M61
Location: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, CT
Date: 5-26-17, 5-31-17, 6-12-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
f/7.5
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo Telescope Mount
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 2 x 90s, 28 x 90s, 38 x 90s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 18 C, 24 C, 18
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools, StarTools.
https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

M49

Although I am happy how this image of M49 turned out, APOD this is NOT.  Lots processing to fix things.  In addition to the normal noise and gradients that I deal with, there were black spots (sometimes colored close up) speckled throughout the image (looked like chicken pox).  I have had a couple of this pop up from time to time but not in a long time or like this. The only thing different from the other Virgo Galaxies I have imaged is it was really warm outside, 75 F or 24 C.  I was able to get most of the spots out with normal smoothing in PS, Astronomy Tools, Star Tools, and LR, however, some of the spots were on M49 so I used the healing brush (i.e. the image is not pure).

Anybody in Astrobin Land have similar experiences or know what this caused this?  If it noise caused by the heat is there something that can be done other than getting a CCD?  I saw on Cloudynights someone made a homemade DSLR cooler for a Canon T3i.  I might go with this approach.

The weather has been awful for the past month and it looks like cloudy weather for the next two weeks so this image will have to do for my Messier catalog.

M49 (NGC 4472) is an elliptical galaxy located in the constellation Virgo at a distance of 55.9 million light years from Earth. M49 can be found 4.1 degrees to the west-southwest of the star Vindemiatrix, a yellow giant that is the third brightest star in Virgo.

M49 was the first member of the Virgo Cluster to be discovered and is the brightest galaxy in this group.  About 157,000 light years across in size, M49 is larger both than the Milky Way (100,000 light years) and the Andromeda Galaxy (140,000 light years). The galaxy contains at least 200 billion stars. It is receding from us at an approximate velocity of 981 km/s (source: Messier Objects).

This is the 87th Messier Object for my catalog and the second to the last Virgo Galaxy (M61 is the last). 

Wide Field

Interesting Frame

M49 Crop

M49
Location: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, CT
Date: 6-11-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
f/7.5
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo Telescope Mount
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 54 x 90s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 24 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools, StarTools.
https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

M102 - Spindle Galaxy

I was finally was able to do some imaging.  Since the moon was near Virgo, I pointed the telescope in the other direction and finished the last of the Messier objects near the Big Dipper.

M102 (NGC 5866), also known as the Spindle Galaxy, is an edge-on lenticular galaxy located in the northern constellation Draco at a distance of 50 million light years from Earth.  This is a circumpolar galaxy and never sets below the horizon North of 35 degrees. Also of interest, the north celestial pole passes within a degree of M102 every 25,800 years. The galaxy last marked the location of the pole about 6,900 years ago, in 4900 BC, and will do so again in 18,900 years, around 20900 AD (source: Messier Objects).

This is 86 Messier objects and counting...

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Wide Field

M102
Location: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, CT
Date: 6-1-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
f/7.5
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo Telescope Mount
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 43 x 90s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 18 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools, StarTools.
https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

M88 and M91

Along with M85, imaged on the same night, these were the last two Messier objects in the Virgo Cluster of galaxies I was able to image.  I am looking forward to shooting other objects such as nebula and clusters again.

M88 (a.k.a. NGC 4501) is a spiral galaxy about 50 to 60 million light-away in the constellation Coma Berenices.  It is one of the fifteen Messier objects that belong to the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. Interestingly, M88 seems to be on an elliptical orbit that is carrying it toward the cluster center, which is occupied by the giant elliptical galaxy M87.  M91 (a.k.a. NGC 4548 ) is a barred spiral galaxy located also in the Coma Berenices constellation and  is about 63 million light-years away from the earth.

Processing theis image proved more difficult as the subtraction method that I have been using on most of the other Virgo galaxies was giving me good results so I went back to Gradient Exterminator to remove the gradients and some of the noise.  M88 and M91 represent the 83rd the 84th Messier Object I have captured.


Wide Field

M88-Crop

M91-Crop
M88 and M91
Location: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, CT
Date: 5-18-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
f/7.5
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo Telescope Mount
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 60 x 90s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 18 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools, StarTools.
https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/

Monday, May 29, 2017

M85

Messier 85 (a.k.a. as M85 or NGC 4382) is an elliptical galaxy in the Coma Berenices constellation and is 60 million light-years away.  It is interacting with the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 4394, and a small elliptical galaxy called MCG 3-32-38.

I am almost caught up with processing images, just one more, as the weather has been very cloudy as of late.  Just by coincidence, M85 happens to be the 85th Messier object I captured for my catalog.
https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/

Wide Field

Crop

M85
Location: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, CT
Date: 5-16-17, 5-18-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
f/7.5
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo Telescope Mount
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 24 x 90s, 27 x 90s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 18 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools, StarTools.
https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/


Sunday, May 28, 2017

M89-M90

This image contains M89 and M90 captured on 5/16/17 as part of an ongoing project to image all 110 Messier objects with an ED80 refractor.

M89 (a.k.a NGC 4552) is an elliptical galaxy 50 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo.  M89 is unusual in that it appears perfectly spherical in shape while all other known elliptic galaxies are relatively elongated ellipsoids.  M90 (a.k.a NGC 4569) is an intermediate spiral galaxy about 60 million light-years away also in the constellation Virgo.  M90 is a member of the Virgo Cluster and one of its largest and brightest spiral galaxies, even brighter than the Andromeda Galaxy.

https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/

Wide Field

M89 Crop

M90 Crop

M89 and M90
Location: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, CT
Date: 5-16-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
f/7.5
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo Telescope Mount
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 45 x 90s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 18 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools, StarTools.
https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/