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Barry-Wilson

Messier 101, the magnificent "Pinwheel"

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Posted (edited)

I have imaged M101 a number of times from both my home observatory and now from both remote setups I share ownership and jointly operate with Steve Milne.  We deliberatley chose to go deep this time aiming for as much detail as our optical system would allow, knowing that the galaxy is almost a frame filler for the Sony chip in the QSI690.  I therefore submit this image as another example of the treatise setout by Olly, namely that a refractor teamed with a small pixel camera can produce excellent results formerly the preserve of long FL scopes with prior generations of camera technology.  This image has a pixel scale of 0.75"/pixel and is the entire frame other than edge cropping from stacking/dithering.

From Wikipedia: "M101 is a large galaxy, with a diameter of 170,000 light-years. By comparison, the Milky Way has a diameter of 258,000 light years. It has around a trillion stars, a twice the number in the Milky Way. It has a disk mass on the order of 100 billion solar masses, along with a small central bulge of about 3 billion solar masses. M101 has a high population of H II regions, many of which are very large and bright. H II regions usually accompany the enormous clouds of high density molecular hydrogen gas contracting under their own gravitational force where stars form. H II regions are ionized by large numbers of extremely bright and hot young stars; those in M101 are capable of creating hot superbubbles. In a 1990 study, 1264 H II regions were cataloged in the galaxy. Three are prominent enough to receive New General Catalogue numbers - NGC 5461, NGC 5462, and NGC 5471. M101 is asymmetrical due to the tidal forces from interactions with its companion galaxies. These gravitational interactions compress interstellar hydrogen gas, which then triggers strong star formation activity in M101's spiral arms that can be detected in ultraviolet images."

Processing was a delight though a few of the larger stars required taming and PI trickery (the triplet oiled fluorite objective of the TEC140 does love big blue stars!).  Steve's magnificent version is here.

Details:

  • TEC140 at F7 with flattener
  • GM2000HPS II UP
  • QSI690wsg-8
  • Astrodon filters
  • Ha 20 x 1200s; Lum 65 x 600s; RGB 30 x 600s each channel; 32.5 hours total integration
  • e-Eye, Spain
  • Data acquisition: Barry Wilson & Steve Milne; mid-Feb to mid-March 2019.
  • Processing: Barry Wilson
  • SGP & PixInsight

CS!

500508849_M101LHaRGB_Blend.thumb.jpg.ebbf291c8e446d47c8bc5c8c89d75ad2.jpg

Edited by Barry-Wilson
  • Like 33

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My word Barry - that’s a stunner! Love the colour that you have in this, vibrant without overstepping the line.

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Posted (edited)

Lovely imaging Barry/Steve - ace

Lots of tiddlers in the background ?

Edited by fwm891

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A gorgeous sight. The caliber of your images, Barry, are something I know I'll never attain, but they certainly are inspiring!

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Excellent M101 Barry, on a par with images captured from the Arizona desert, on the long focal length subject it doesn't actually fit in the 10"LX200R + AP.67 f/r Atik314L FOV :grin:

Also confusing that folk call M99 in Coma the Pinwheel as well :icon_scratch:

Dave

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Magnificent image indeed, as is Steve's.

Were you selective regarding  seeing conditions for this project or do you generally always have good enough conditions in Spain to image at this arcsec/pixel resolution?

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23 hours ago, PhotoGav said:

My word Barry - that’s a stunner! Love the colour that you have in this, vibrant without overstepping the line.

Thanks Gav.  Don't think I've ever processed a galaxy at such scale and frame filling before.

23 hours ago, fwm891 said:

Lovely imaging Barry/Steve - ace

Lots of tiddlers in the background ?

Thank you Francis.

23 hours ago, Allinthehead said:

You're not wrong, that is magnificent.

Much appreciated Richard.

22 hours ago, Ibbo! said:

Very nice indeed.

Glad you like it ?.

20 hours ago, Laurin Dave said:

Fabulous image Barry, great detail and lovely colour.

Dave

We decided to push out to 5 hours per RGB channel for this image and it certainly has helped, even above our 'normal' 4 hours per channel.

16 hours ago, Seanelly said:

A gorgeous sight. The caliber of your images, Barry, are something I know I'll never attain, but they certainly are inspiring!

Thank you Sean.  Having clear consecutive nights is an obvious advantage in ability to go deep and also able to practise processing on your own data is invaluable.

16 hours ago, Davey-T said:

Excellent M101 Barry, on a par with images captured from the Arizona desert, on the long focal length subject it doesn't actually fit in the 10"LX200R + AP.67 f/r Atik314L FOV :grin:

Also confusing that folk call M99 in Coma the Pinwheel as well :icon_scratch:

Dave

Cheers Dave.

5 hours ago, tomato said:

Magnificent image indeed, as is Steve's.

Were you selective regarding  seeing conditions for this project or do you generally always have good enough conditions in Spain to image at this arcsec/pixel resolution?

We have plenty of nights without cloud and very good seeing.  When we get variable evenings (ie, say 10% thin high cloud) we tend to not image as we have sufficient confidence to know that the weather will improve in a day or two; this contrasts with the UK when you will often image in less than ideal because you never know when you might get a chance again.  Neither do we push out imaging with the moon beyond 70-ish% for NB.  SGP's planning tool is very helpful in setting criteria for multiple targets throughout an evening, making the most of mixing LRGB with NB data as they rise and transit.  Planning and research is invaluable to make the most of the evening's plan ?.

  • Like 1

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I was happy over my own M101 until i saw yours :) Wow that is a fantastic image Barry.

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Looks Great Barry, those long hours have resulted in a great image.

Carole 

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Superb detail and processing - a very tasty M101 :D

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A lovely image, Barry and a frame filler as you say!! Great work.

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Amazing Barry. Almost looks like a Hubble image! And so many small galaxies hiding in the background as well.

Love it!

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Like he says??????

Paul

Ps. Be careful when using the finger pointing up emoji. I nearly conveyed completely the wrong message!

 

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21 hours ago, Ceph said:

I was happy over my own M101 until i saw yours :) Wow that is a fantastic image Barry.

You have a super M101 Ceph.  There are advantages with a bigger scope and dark skies.  It does allow for far more patience when collecting data too.

21 hours ago, carastro said:

Looks Great Barry, those long hours have resulted in a great image.

Carole 

Thanks very much Carole.  The extra data has really paid off; it's maybe not needed every time but has helped with this target.

21 hours ago, Shibby said:

Superb detail and processing - a very tasty M101 :D

Glad you like it, thank you ?.

20 hours ago, steppenwolf said:

A lovely image, Barry and a frame filler as you say!! Great work.

Your comments are much appreciated Steve - thank you.

4 hours ago, Xiga said:

Amazing Barry. Almost looks like a Hubble image! And so many small galaxies hiding in the background as well.

Love it!

Cheers Ciaran - it did almost process itself . . .

4 hours ago, Petergoodhew said:

I'm speechless! Beautiful, just beautiful!

Thanks Peter.

4 hours ago, Paul73 said:

Like he says??????

Paul

Ps. Be careful when using the finger pointing up emoji. I nearly conveyed completely the wrong message!

 

Ha, ha - understood and have almost made that mistake myself ?.

2 hours ago, HunterHarling said:

Amazing image!

?.

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