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One and a half clear nights for me early in the year and I focused on M45. As a naked eye visible target, I think subconsciously I never gave M45 the concentration it deserves, thinking I could always catch it another time.
Anyway, despite lusting after the Horsehead, I kept my refractor pointed at the seven sisters in new moon skies and the result is below.
I actually found it pretty hard to process...the seven sisters themselves were pretty well behaved, but I couldn't decide what to do with the background. I know this is a dusty region so I did not want to put DBE samples everywhere. But at the end the background seems a bit smudgy after tweaking curves - I'm not sure whether to darken the background or leave it as is.
3.4 hours of LRGB integration. Full details on Astrobin.
Thanks for looking!
The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in the Constellation Fornax
( edit - star chart added )
The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) - Chart ( please click/tap on image see larger and sharper version )
A full size ( 6200 x 4407px ) image can be downloaded from here.
Below the equator, not seen from much of the Northern hemisphere, NGC 1365 passes very nearly directly overhead an observer situated near Cape Town, as Sir John Herschel was in November of 1837 when he discovered this “remarkable nebula” that is numbered 2552 in his book of observations from the Cape.
Not called a “nebula” now, of course, this striking object is one of the nearest and most studied examples of a barred spiral ( SB ) galaxy that also has an active galactic nuclei resulting in its designation as a Seyfert galaxy.
At around 60 M light years from Earth, NGC 1365 is still seen to occupy a relatively large area ( 12 by 6 arc minutes ) due to its great size; at some 200,000 light years or so across, NGC 1365 is nearly twice as wide as the Milky Way and considerably wider than both the Sculptor and Andromeda galaxies.
This High Dynamic Range ( HDR ) image is built up from multiple exposures ranging from 4 to 240 seconds with the aim of capturing the faint detail in the spiral arms of the galaxy whilst also retaining colour in the brightest star ( the orange-red 7th magnitude giant, HD 22425 ). Also, scattered throughout the image, and somewhat more difficult to see, are numerous and far more distant galaxies.
The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy
New General Catalogue - NGC 1365
General Catalogue - GC 731
John Herschel ( Cape of Good Hope ) # 2552 - Nov 28, 29 1837
Principal Galaxy Catlogue - PCG 13179
RA (2000.0) 3h 33m 37.2 s
DEC (2000.0) -36 deg 8' 36.5"
10th magnitude Seyfert-type galaxy in the Fornaux cluster of galaxies
200 Kly diameter
60 Mly distance
Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ).
Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x.
Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1375mm f4.7
Mount: Skywatcher EQ8
Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2
Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels)
Blue Mountains, Australia
Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map )
Capture ( 3, 7 & 8 Dec 2018 )
7 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 4s to 240s ) all at unity gain ( ISO 250).
140 x 240s + 10 each @ 4s to 120s
total around 9.7 hrs
Processing ( Pixinsight )
Calibration: master bias, master flat , master dark
Integration in 7 sets
Image Plate Solution
Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px ( full size image )
Rotation .......... -0.003 deg ( North is up )
Field of view ..... 58' 37" x 38' 55"
Image center ...... RA: 03 33 36 Dec: -36 08 27
Hi there, our Astro group were booked into our normal dark skies venue for an observing weekend in February. Unfortunately, the accommodations are now going to be undergoing renovation and will be closed for the first 3 months of the year. We are looking at a couple of alternative venues. These are field study centres, one at Blancathra near Keswick and the other Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales national park. Wondering if anybody has any observing experience of the skies in these areas.
Hi. Was up at dawn observing Mercury rising in the southeast and slowly swept my binoculars left. I was able to vaguely see a small triangle formed by Upsilon Ophiuchi, HR 6128 and HR 6137. That was the limit of view as sunlight was washing out anything else to the left of that. But I clicked on the adjacent HR6144 star in my Sky Guide app and it lists as being 6,900 light years away. When I checked the Ski Safari app, the same star is listed as 1,900 light years. I went online and found little info but, “In the Sky” web page it’s HR 6144 at 9 kilo years / 9,000 light years. Does anyone have any info as to why the huge discrepancies?
Thanks in advance for your help.
I have just purchased the Skywatcher Alt Az GTi mount from FLO mainly because of its built in wireless control and weight and more importantly its portability for possible holiday use. Due to the usual amount of cloud and rain at this time have only managed to set it up indoors. It looks like when doing an alignment the mount slews the altitude and you are then left to slew the azimuth which is ok as far as I am concerned. The PC 'app' is a bit buggy but the IOS app works fine and I managed to get Skysafari working as well.
My main question is this: can anyone tell me why I cannot find this product on the Skywatcher website Is it really that new? It seems reasonable quality especially for the price and I intend to use it with my Atik infinity for EAA so tracking accuracy is not paramount. I am loading it with a tec n sky 65mm apo refractor which is roughly one and half kilo's but I think it takes up to five so there are possibilities of a small SCT or larger refractor being supported. Would love to know what any others are using with it and any good / bad experiences?