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Celestron 9.25 at f6.3, SW EQ6R pro, Canon 550 D modded
The galaxy group Hickson 44 in Leo. This is based on 29 x 240 s, plus bias and flats.
Hickson 44 in Leo:
There are some other galaxies near by, some of which are names in this overlay from Astrometry.net:
Overlay from Astrometry, naming the other objects:
The main ones are NGC 3190, NGC 3185, NGC 3187 and NGC 3193. NGC 3190 has a well defined dust lane. NGC 3187 is a barred spiral galaxy with two arms. NGC 3193 is an elliptical galaxy.
The light captured by my camera last night left these galaxies just after the extinction event killed the dinosaurs on Earth.
From APOD: Galaxies, like stars, frequently form groups. A group of galaxies is a system containing more than two galaxies but less than the tens or hundreds typically found in a cluster of galaxies. A most notable example is the Local Group of Galaxies, which houses over 30 galaxies including our Milky Way, Andromeda, and the Magellanic Clouds. Pictured above is nearby compact group Hickson 44. This group is located about 60 million light-years away toward the constellation of Leo. Also known as the NGC 3190 Group, Hickson 44 contains several bright spiral galaxies and one bright elliptical galaxy on the upper right. The bright source on the upper left is a foreground star. Many galaxies in Hickson 44 and other compact groups are either slowly merging or gravitationally pulling each other apart.
This image is based on 19 x 300 s , plus flats and bias. It shows a LOT of galaxies, in a grouping called Abell 1367. In this image you are looking at part of one of the biggest structures in the Universe, the Great Wall.
The Leo Cluster (Abell 1367) is a galaxy cluster about 330 million light-years distant (z = 0.022) in the constellation Leo, with at least 70 major galaxies. The galaxy known as NGC 3842 is the brightest member of this cluster. Along with the Coma Cluster, it is one of the two major clusters comprising the Coma Supercluster, which in turn is part of the CfA2 Great Wall, which is hundreds of millions light years long and is one of the largest known structures in the universe.
The overlay from Astrometry gives some of the galaxies visible in the image.
So, although I had some issues with my auto guiding (which I found out afterwards) I did manage to get 9x180s exposures and 5 darks of Andromeda and give both stacking (using DSS) and processing (using GIMP).
My first attempted DSO....
I am pretty sure that people could get far more information out of the TIFF file from the stack.
Hopefully I will get another clear night soon. I am in a heavily light polluted area so I do have a clip in filter on my DSLR which I think took a lot away.
More practise needed!
I am one happy newbie.
A short break in the cloud last night and I got my first hit on Andromeda.
At first it was a small grey patch but with persistence and averted vision I got glimpses of a bright central core with grey "cloud" extending out from each side.
So my question from my LP back garden what might I be able to do to improve or at least get a more consistent visual.
I have a skywatcher 130p the best views came with the supplied 20mm.
Would flocking and a dew shield help with contrast? A 25 or 32mm eyepiece clean up the image? Or maybe a colour filter to make it pop a little?
I understand the limitations of both the scope and viewing site both have a major effect but there must be steps I can take to get the best from what I have.
Thanks in advance Ian
The August galaxy of the month (the 100th one actually) from the Webb Society is NGC 7042 in Pegasus.
So I thought, better get that new 20 inch dob out and try it. The sky was a bit milky and there was a lot of high cloud around but that was not going to stop me!
Well I found NGC 7042 fairly easily. You can tell its a spiral as it has that characteristic low surface brightness glow across its entire face. It sits next to a triangle of stars. I then worked hard to see if I could see NGC 7043. I could not see it last time I tried when I had a 14 inch scope. Well this time I got it just! Very faint even with averted vision but definitely there. I managed to see stars to mag 14.9 despite the poor skies.
Here is my observation:
I also had a look at a few more galaxies on my target list, IC 1473 in Pegasus (within a triangle of stars) and IC1550 in Andromeda. That brings my total galaxies observed up to 1800.
Here is IC1550 from Aladin. Perhaps not galaxy of the month but it was special to me as no 1800 and it looks lovely next to that field star. I read that it is about 275 million light years away behind the Perseus-Pisces supercluster wall of galaxies.
Another great night of observing with the new 20 inch scope.
Do give any of the above targets a go as they are well placed to the east at the moment (which is best for me over the Cotswolds!) and let me know how you get on.
Thank you to Owen for the inspiration.
Here is a picture I took with my wife on holiday in France. It was a rare evening of stargazing after 3 year toddler hiatus.
We took it on a canon 6d with a 16mm wide angle sitting on the star adventurer.
It’s based on 3 exposures where I stacked the sky part whilst only using 1 layer for the foreground. Maybe 20 second exposures I can’t quite recall now. Then bumped up the levels also in photoshop.