Barry-Wilson Posted May 13, 2017 Share Posted May 13, 2017 When I was gathering the last few RGB subs for my MW3, Volcano Nebula, M81/82 mosaic, I was only able to track the four panels for about 1.5 hours before they disappeared behind a tree. The moon was making its presence felt at that point but I made use of the clear skies by switching to target the globular cluster M3 for the balance of the astro dark. We have all lost the skies at the moment with the moon and weather and true astro darkness will soon diminish (or disappear for those in the UK or has disappeared for our more northern colleagues ), however many of us will be able to enjoy NB targets galore soon, so a smash and grab M3 after my mosaic madness was a cathartic counterpoint and a sign-off before Nebula season. The data only amounts to 15 x 300s luminance and 8 x 300s each RG&B, a total of 3hrs 25mins, but just about do-able for a wide-ish look at M3. The FSQ106 at F3.6 and QSI683 giving 2.8"/px isn't the tool for resolution to the core but it is a fun image nevertheless. I have decided against cropping to show the concentrated globular aggregation of stars in context against the starfield. Can you imagine being on a planet orbiting a star within? Just think of the radiation! According to Wikipedia, "Many amateur astronomers consider it one of the finest northern globular clusters, following only Messier 13. . . . This cluster is one of the largest and brightest, and is made up of around 500,000 stars. It is estimated to be 8 billion years old. It is located at a distance of about 33,900 light-years away from Earth.. . . It contains 274 known variable stars; by far the highest number found in any globular cluster." Having recently read "The Glass Universe" by Dava Sobel which documents the extraordinary work of the female 'human computers' at Harvard University cataloguing stars, their positions, their spectra and their significant contributions to astronomy and especially variable stars and their brightness/periodicty relationship, it is rather pleasing to capture M3 with its abundant stars and variables. CS! Barry 27 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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