Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

Martin Meredith

Some Virgo Messier galaxies in short exposures

Recommended Posts

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 Skies SQM 20.4 at zenith (the streetlamp in front of the house has been replaced by LEDs which has made quite a difference).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.

M61a.png

 

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.

M87.png

 

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.

M104.png

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

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Martin

Some great images there - M101 in particular.

CS

Paul

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some nice captures there, interesting to see the comparative effects of stacking, particularly on M61 which shows a lot of detail after 5 minutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exquisite work, Martin. Great detail on M61 and M87, and the Sombrero looks ready to wear, haha!

Cheers,

Reggie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to all of your for your comments and likes. Although I have no problems in spending many minutes with most objects, I think it is useful to see what is available one the first sub. As I use mean stacking in the main, the target object brightness doesn't change much with stacking, but the effect on the background is very obvious, and of course this allows fainter parts to emerge from the noise. 

It's also great to be back in the game after a lousy winter weather-wise. We now seem to have passed directly from winter to summer...

Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By eshy76
      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


    • By Matteo
      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/

    • By MarsG76
      The Sombraro Galaxy imaged in April at 2032mm focal length through a 8" SCT and a astromodded Canon 40D.
    • By MarsG76
      The Sombraro Galaxy, M104 imaged at F10, 2032mm FL, with a 8" SCT and a astro modded Canon 40D.
      MG
       

    • By MarsG76
      Hello All,
       This is one of the objects which data I’m going through which I captured during the last couple of months.
      This is an image of M104 which I captured across a few nights starting end of March and a couple of nights in April.
      This was imaged at 2032mm, the 8” SCT native focal length, 300s, 600s and 900s ISO800 subs.
      This didn’t come out as well as I hoped it would, no details in the edge shadow, but during those nights I was fighting slight haze… this is an object which I’ll have to image again in the future.
      3 objects left to process.
       
      Clear skies,
      MG
       

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.