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Who knew renovating a house could take so long - and it's still a long way from being finished (maybe I shouldn't have tried to tackle it all myself...)
But having finally uncovered some of the boxes containing my kit, and with a bit more free time than normal, I decided to have another go, starting with one of the top targets this time of year. (I am working from home, honestly).
I felt like I was learning again from scratch. But at least I've discovered the masked stretch. This image might be over-saturated for some tastes, but what can I say, it's the first time I've managed to get any colour in my
20x10 mins L
Altair Astro Wave 115 refractor, SBIG STF8300M, GM1000HPS (never managed to get it to track unguided, but at least it can be guided now)
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.
Work in progress
Started this Saturday night. I love these galaxies and been wanting to image them a long time.
So far, only 30 x 60s L and 10 x 60s RGB.
C11 with focal reducer (1760mm), ASI183mm Pro. Astrodon filters. Mesu 200. Pixinsight.
Thanks for looking
Taking full advantage of a series of clear nights, I couldn't resist some wide-field shots of the sky. Seeing was reasonably good, if not perfect, a few nights after full moon. The temperature was a little cool but pleasant. Here are the fruits of my labor:
Orion, 1 second exposure, f/5.6, ISO 1600:
Auriga, 2 second exposure, f/5.6, ISO 1600:
Canis Major, 2 second exposure, f/5.6, ISO 1600:
Leo, 5 second exposure, f/5.6, ISO 1600:
The Great Bear, 5 second exposure, f/5.6, ISO 800:
This image may compete for being one of the worst framings ever.
It is an RGB image that I processed from free data from the Liverpool Telescope, a 2 m RC reflector on La Palma. This time with quite a lot of data, so not much noise and a lot of detail. The "only" problem is that the astronomers requesting the subs must only have cared about NGC 3187 and the beautiful NGC 3190 just happened to be partly included.
Found this nice info about these galaxes on the Canary Islands Astronomical Institute www.iac.es:
Discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1784, NGC 3190 and NGC 3187 are two spiral galaxies seen nearly edge-on. The spiral arms of NGC 3190 are tightly wrapped around its nucleus, and those of NGC 3187 are S-shaped. Both galaxies are located in the constellation Leo and are members of the Hickson 44 galaxy group, located about 70 million light years from Earth. The galaxies in this group are very close to each other so that gravitational interactions are common, resulting in a high degree of shape distortion and a high rate of star formation in many cases. This gravitational dance will eventually end up in many galaxy mergers.
Filters and exposures used (from 2015 01 21 - 2016 04 26).
sdss-r 40 x 90 s (red channel)
Bessell V 23 x 90 s (green channel)
Bessell B + sdss-g 53 x 90 s (blue channel)