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Hi everyone, This is Markarian's Chain shot from my back garden over three nights in late March. Probably the deepest single image I've taken in terms of integration time...which leaves me feeling my processing is not quite doing the data justice...maybe I'll come back to it. In any case, this is an incredible part of space; looking away from our galaxy reveals countless others! The crazy number of Lum subs took a whole day for APP to chug through and so I've resolved to lower the gain from unity going forwards to get more manageable sub lengths than 15 seconds! L: 1050 (!) x 15s R: 92 x 60s G: 165 x 30s B 165 x 30s....total integration time 8.2 hours. Captured using APT, stacked in APP and processed in Pixinsight. Thanks for looking! Edit: Link to higher res version
M87 galaxy with the relativistic jet fired from the super massive black hole 27/02/2017 01:19 (55.000.000 light years) GSO 0.20 m Sky-Watcher NEQ-5 Pro SynScan mount QHY5L-IIC + IR cut filter f: 1000 mm f/5 Matteo Vacca Milis, Italy http://vaccamatteo.weebly.com/ https://www.astrobin.com/users/matteovacca/
I finally got some clear skies over the last two nights and spent much of it in the fantastic galaxy ground that is Coma and Virgo. I'll post some of the deeper objects later, but here are three very different Messier galaxies in Virgo. All shots were taken with my alt-az mounted Quattro 8" f4 Newt, Lodestar X2 mono, no filters, no darks nor flats, with live processing in StarlightLive v3. Skies SQM 20.4 at zenith (the streetlamp in front of the house has been replaced by LEDs which has made quite a difference). First, M61 in 4 x 15s. The last time I observed this was a couple of years back when the supernova appeared. On that occasion I recall setting my alarm for 4 am and desperately shooting through gathering mist in November; the detail was nowhere near as good but at least the SNR was clear. The inset shows the result of letting the stacking do its work. Not only is the background smoother, but the fainter outer spiral arms are beginning to show up. In practice, for an object with as much detail as thus I observe for at least 21x15s. Here’s M87 with its famous jet (pointing NW in terrestrial terms). The main shot is a single 15s sub, with a 2-minute capture in the inset. The two tiny galaxies forming a dotted line to the NE are mag 16.1 UGC 7652 and mag 16.7 UGC 7652, and I was quite surprised to pick them up in this short an exposure. But what I find really remarkable is that the 15s sub has detected a little cluster of galaxies (encircled) which on further investigation via Aladin turn out to be members of a SDSS compact group collection (I only have mags 18.6 and 18.5 for two of the members). Although I've been using it for a while, the sensitivity of the Lodestar X2 continually amazes me. Finally, M104, the Sombrero, which almost sits astride the Virgo/Corvus border. The main frame is a single 15s shot with the inset a total exposure of 2 minutes, again showing the main benefit in clearing up the background/allowing a bigger stretch. I must say that I’m impressed by the defective pixel removal feature of StarlightLive 3. I didn’t take darks at all, and this enabled me to use a wide range of exposures during the session, from 1s to 30s. I don't see any hot pixel trailing in any of the shots from that night. Nice one, Paul! Thanks for looking Martin
Having missed out on a couple of clear nights with other commitments this month, I was glad to get out last night for only the second time this April. At 10:20pm, it still wasn't quite astronomically dark but the sky was already looking very clear. I had planned to skip across Mankarian's chain and search for NGC 4216, NGC 4365, NGC 4486, NGC 4261, NGC 4568, NGC 4654, NGC 4371 in Virgo and NGC 4725 in Coma Berenices but never got that far for getting side tracked with five new galaxies to me on the galaxy hopping route. I started (as I usually do) from Epsilon Virginis toward HD112278 and then moved on to NGC 4754 and NGC 4762, which both showed up quite readily in the 8mm X-Cel eyepiece. I then headed West by Northwest through the bright trio of M60, M59 and M58 before dropping South to see NGC 4564 and the Siamese Twins. I cannot be certain I saw both but NGC 4568 was just about possible. I was unclear how close the core of the slightly feinter NGC 4567 was to the other galaxy and was also repeatedly throw by two nearby stars of magnitudes 11.3 and 12.3. A quick naked eye check on the sky identified a number of stars in Melotte 111. I popped the 15mm eyepiece back in to navigate up to M87 (perhaps the brightest of the night). I switched back to the 8mm once found for a closer look and noticed a feinter galaxy NGC 4478 to the West. At magnitude 11.4, it is close to my limit but after five or ten minutes of viewing, I was seeing it like a football (to coin a cricketing phrase). NGC 4476 was sadly beyond me. Westward again took me to NGC 4440, a much harder target but still just about visible using all the tricks at my disposal. At magnitude 11.7, it is the feintest fuzzy I have seen to date. The two feinter companions NGC 4431 and NGC 4436 were not possible to view. From there, I headed North toward Mankarian's chain. First up were the Eyes (NGC 4435 and NGC 4438) which were instantly detectable. M86 and M84 were bright but I spent some time trying to tease out some of the feinter companions. NGC 4388 made an equiliateral triangle with the two Messiers but NGC 4387 and NGC 4402 were not possible. I then moved back up the chain towards Coma Berenices and managed to find NGC 4461 just before the border and finished with spotting NGC 4473 and NGC 4477: my only Coma galaxies of the night. 18 galaxies in an hour and a half and five new ones included in that made a great return to the night sky. ____________________________________________________________ Observing Session: Monday 30th April 2013, 22:20 hrs to 23:50 hrs BST VLM at Zenith: 5.3 - 5.4 New - Revisited - Failed