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By stepping beyond
I've had 3 new mounts since after Xmas last year and it has been a real pita trying to get the first to mounts to operate correctly with my Sgp Software . March rolled in and I had lost too much time trying to get the 1st 2 mounts to do the job . I dipped back in the kitty and got an AVX straight out of the box took me to galaxies FAR FAR AWAY, WOOHOO! I've been trying to process the galaxy for a mount and match it with my archived data and finally I'm getting somewhere.
Since I am very new to this, I struggle a lot. Especially when observing planets and also recently deep sky objects. My telescope is an amateur telescope and its almost 11 years old (The telescope was re used a year ago). During summer of last year I took photos of Saturn,Jupiter and a month ago took photos of Venus and Mars. About 2 days ago I stumbled upon a new thing in the sky, (Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture). It definitely was in the Orion constellation as I had observed Betelgeuse and the 3 stars that were close to each other. After a couple of minutes later I saw 2 stars next to each other and another two which were on top of the other star, surrounding these set of stars were a blue-ish and grey-ish colour at the same time. I had done some research and many people told me it was the trapezium cluster found in Orion. I honestly don't know. Any ideas? Thanks.
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