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M63 Sunflower Galaxy LRGB - QHY Polemaster & Canon 550D


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M63 looked like a really nice little galaxy, but my multiple attempts to capture it with the 550D did not give results i was looking for.

Recently I've started using the Polemaster camera more and more for imaging once its polar alignment job is done, with great results on for example M51, and so i thought I'd give this target a go as well.
M63 turned out fainter then i expected, but let the camera run for 2 nights anyway, capturing a total of 9 hours L data, and added some earlier data from the 550D as color.
Only the cropped area contains the L data.  I'm quite happy with this image for now, but i hope i can improve it even more next season. :)

Captured with the Explorer 200 on the HEQ5-pro mount, guided by the QHY5L-II-M.
2 hour 35 minute RGB: 31x 300s, ISO800 with Canon 550D - flat dark bias added.
9 hour L: 540x 60s, gain 30 - flat bias added.


M63 LRGB crop.jpg

M63 LRGB wide.jpg

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That is a amazing version of the Sunflower, and with lum taken through a rather simple polar alignment camera, if I get it right, it is truly amazing indeed!

Maybe run the close up through one round of noise reduction and you have two stunning images - but that is just me and what I would do.....

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Thanks guys! :)

It was more difficult to capture this target in details then i had thought, but considering the equipment used and not ideal seeing I can't complain. :)

Göran, I agree, I think i was a bit too aggressive with the sharpening and pulling out the fainter data that was hiding in the noise. Does this look any better?
It looked very blurry to begin with, so i used quite a bit of sharpening. This is the L data with just some quick levels and curves before any sharpening.

And correct, the L data was captured with the Polemaster. It used the same sensor as the QHY5L-II-M / ASI120MM (MT9M034), but without the automatic FPN removal.
It's not an ideal sensor for deep sky i guess, but for brighter targets it give a very good results for the money I'd say - if you just get enough exposure.

M63 LRGB crop-NR.jpg

(original L)M63 Sunflower 540x 60s gain30.jpg

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Thanks guys! :)

I'm impressed with what this camera can deliver as well. Even though it requires more work then when imaging with the QHY5L-II, I'm very happy i didn't give up trying to use it for imaging.
It have already improved my M51 significantly, this M63 turned out very nice also, and my ngc 6946 from last night also appear to have turned out really nice despite the short exposure time and lack of complete darkness in the night.

I'm hoping for an upgrade in the future to a proper camera (one actually intended for imaging, and not polar alignment), but for now i can't even afford RGB filter, so I'll just have to keep trying to pull out every photon possible from my current equipment.. :)

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