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Catalina + galaxy cluster

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First observing session for nearly 2 months…. The local council have meanwhile replaced all the streetlamp bulbs with LEDs and with a proper hood, and the reduction in LP is noticeable. I noted an SQM reading of 20.5 tonight which is about as low as I've seen it. Seeing was pretty poor though.

One of the targets tonight was Catalina (which I picked up in bins too shortly beforehand for the first time). Catalina is just about on the border between Draco and Camelopardalis at the moment.

As usual, this is with StarlightLive + Lodestar X2M on the Quattro 8" f4 scope. Arcsinh compression gave by far the best rendition of the comet.

The movement was really clear after about a minute, so even this stack of 3x30 shows some elongation of the core.

If you look carefully, just to the NE of the core is a little group of mag 17.5 to 18 galaxies near to a close pair of stars. On the other side, due W of the core, is the mag 16.5 galaxy PGC 2784549.


I was also hoping to catch P/2010 V1 Ikeya-Murakami (apparently mag 9 according to SkySafari) in Leo Minor but forgot about the house being in the way… Has anyone taken a look at this yet? 


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Wonderful imaging! I'm going to try for P/2010 V1 as soon as it clears out. Should look great it's very high in the sky right now. From what I see online at least a 200mm aperture scope looks to work.

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Thanks Leveye.

I returned to Catalina on Thursday, passing through CAM, close to the mag 13.8 spiral UGC 3373 which is visible directly above the core, which remains remarkably compact and bright. I've marked 3 other fainter galaxies: from L to R, mag 17.2 PGC 2776235, mag 16.8 UGC 3370, and mag 17.3 PGC 2776740. Catalina's tail(s) must be worth a mag or two of extinction…

Also marked is near-equal double star BVD 58 (mags 11.5, 12.2, sep 16.9").


I also shot a quick RGB image (30s per filter) which didn't stack too well -- probably me being a bit clumsy with the filter wheel -- but gives one possible colour rendition for Catalina. I've seen various on the web; no idea how accurate this is.



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Great captures Martin. Like that you managed to pull out that faint galaxy cluster as well.

The color rendition looks very close to what I got with the X2C and Atik Infinity Color from a few days back (the color saturation is higher in my images).

X2C capture is a single 60s exposure. The Inifinity capture is a 4x60s stack.




Edited by Astrojedi
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