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SGL Challenge 3 - A galaxy far, far away


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Spring is here so now is the time for all you galaxy imagers and sketchers to do your stuff!  Big, small, rarely imaged faint fuzzies, galaxy clusters, or wide field images full of tiny galaxies, all are welcome.  The one exclusion is our own galaxy.  There will be a Milky Way challenge a little later this year.

All entries to have been captured during the challenge period - 1st April - 30th June

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I'll have to see what I can start with the 130 apo, as I already have a project going with the ODK from last month, and don't want to start yet another.

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I'm assuming the entry period is from the 1st April to 30th June, if so I'll put this one in, as it was captured on the 2nd/3rd April. Mods, please remove if I've got that wrong.

It is 7.8 hrs on  NGC 3938 in Ursa Major, captured with a dual Esprit 150/ASI 178 rig on a Mesu 200 Mk 1, one scope on Lum continuous, the other cycling through RGB filters.

L 78 x 3 mins binned 2x2

RGB 26 x 3 mins each, all binned 2x2 so imaging at 0.94 arcsec/pixel. Guiding hovering at 0.45-0.5 RMS total.

combine-RGB-image--1degCW-1.0x-LZ3-NS-mod-StAPstfix.thumb.jpg.6ef1eab1f30259e7d6c2327c049c3702.jpg

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Here is my next effort, 6.6 hrs on NGC 3169 & NGC 3166, two interacting galaxies in Sextans.

Captured over two nights using the dual Esprit 150/ASI 178 rig, the cameras are the uncooled type, but have been retrofitted with Peltier coolers and fans to keep them at a constant 3 deg C, to hopefully achieve more consistent  calibration.

Capture details:

L 66 x 3 min

R 26 x 3 min

G 15 x 3 min

B 25 x 3 min

All binned 2 x 2 so imaging at 0.94 arcsec/pixel

OAG on a Mesu Mk 1 mount, running at 0.65" total RMS. Calibrated and stacked in APP, processed in Startools, AP and GIMP.

NewCompositeAPGP.jpg.5c318aa0f6c6c4cbab9f88c27a31f6a0.jpg

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I am feeling like I am hogging this thread a bit but I know my galaxy imaging window is closing fast now for this season.

So this is Arp 84, "The Heron" two interacting galaxies NGC 5395 and 5394 in Canes Venatici.

It is the same imaging rig, dual Esprit 150/ASI 178 cameras retro fitted fitted with Peltier coolers. 7.8 hrs total integration all binned 2x2 so imaging at 0.94 arcsec/pixel. Captured over two effectively moonless nights, elevation >60 degrees, guiding at 0.5-0.6 total RMS.

L 78 x 3 min

RGB 26 x 3 min each

Calibrated and stacked in APP, processed in APP, AP and GIMP. I have rotated the image clockwise 90 degrees from the capture orientation otherwise the Heron would be flat on his back.

combine-RGB-image-1-mod-lpc-cbg-StAP2WRot.thumb.jpg.f5a1ea85cc6f3ec2043dfa103f0c8af0.jpg

 

 

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On 17/04/2021 at 16:48, tomato said:

So this is Arp 84, "The Heron" two interacting galaxies NGC 5395 and 5394 in Canes Venatici.

I hope commenting on images is OK in this thread - apologies if not.  Just wanted to say (beyond a "like") how much I enjoyed looking at this image and the galaxies within - another fascinating interaction.

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Adding an image I'd previously posted into the Imaging sub section... 

This is NGC 3718 (with NGC 3729 at the bottom, Hickson 56 at the right), taken over three nights at the start of April where the moon was rising well past midnight so it's effect varied as the early hours came round. 

Using the StellaLyra 6" Ritchey-Chrétien on a SW AZEQ6 and a ZWO ASI533, it was taken at native focal ratio of F9.

Original image was ~0.57"PP, so this was IntegerResampled in PixInsight (2x) before starting processing.

In total, 333 x 120s (~11 hours) of subs were integrated.  Captured with Voyager, stacked & calibrated in APP and processed in PixInsight.

NGC3718-333x120s-1.thumb.png.f61008dd969247e9c7c8d8b7f6b27a3f.png

Edited by geeklee
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And yet another NGC 3718 group

2 h 30 mins Red and Green, 3 h 30 m Blue with the ODK rig in my sig on the 16th and 17th April. It's not really up to scratch but as we're losing astro dark and getting a brighter moon I'll post.

347316335_RGBStacknoBias.thumb.jpg.ae1b4825e6963ab586b64b1c0a42c586.jpg

 

{Mods / judges. Please disregard this version. I will be posting my definitive version with new data and correct calibration below}

Edited by DaveS
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M106 and surrounding galaxies. I was particularly drawn to the varying scales of all the galaxies, from big to barely visible. 5.5 hours with 250PDS and 1600MM. Taken 15th April 2021

M106-S.thumb.jpg.15fc452194e5f4610dcf4d61d28e4ba7.jpg

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The Coma Cluster through Esprit150SX46 for 6hrs Lum and Esprit100ASI1600 for 2 hrs each RGB captured on 14,15 and 16 April....  Quite a few here, PixInsight says 89 NGC/IC and 529 PGC galaxies..

Coma_Cluster_LRGB_Final_22Apr21.thumb.jpg.4168b5c526d9f0de4aeaf4e979898b07.jpg

The core inverted and superstretched showing supergiant ellipticals NGC4874 and NGC4889 and some of their enormous 1 million lyr diameter halos

Coma_Cluster_NGC489_NGC4874_200pc_Annotated.thumb.jpg.cafc98285c851341e4a91002f3341427.jpg

 

The Coma Cluster (Abell 1656) is a large cluster of galaxies that contains over 1,000 identified galaxies. The cluster's mean distance from Earth is 321 million light years. The central region is dominated by two supergiant elliptical galaxies: NGC 4874 and NGC 4889. The cluster is within a few degrees of the north galactic pole on the sky. Most of the galaxies that inhabit the central portion of the Coma Cluster are ellipticals. Both dwarf and giant ellipticals are found in abundance in the Coma Cluster.

NGC 4874 is a supergiant elliptical galaxy. Discovered by William Herschel in 1785. The second-brightest galaxy within the northern Coma Cluster, it is located at a distance of 350 million light-years from Earth. The galaxy is surrounded by an immense stellar halo that extends up to one million light-years in diameter. It is also enveloped by a huge cloud of interstellar medium that is currently being heated by action of infalling material from its central supermassive black hole. A jet of highly energetic plasma extends out to 1,700 light-years from its center. The galaxy has 18 700 ± 2260 globular clusters.

NGC 4889 is an E4 supergiant elliptical galaxy. It was discovered in 1785 by William Herschel. The brightest galaxy within the northern Coma Cluster, it is located at a median distance of 308 million light year from Earth. At the core of the galaxy is a supermassive black hole that heats the intracluster medium through the action of friction from infalling gases and dust.

As the largest and the most massive galaxy easily visible to Earth, NGC 4889 has played an important role in both amateur and professional astronomy, and has become a prototype in studying the dynamical evolution of other supergiant elliptical galaxies in the more distant universe.

NGC 4921 is a barred spiral galaxy in the Coma Cluster, located in the constellation Coma Berenices. It is about 320 million light-years from Earth. The galaxy has a nucleus with a bar structure that is surrounded by a distinct ring of dust that contains recently formed, hot blue stars. The outer part consists of unusually smooth, poorly distinguished spiral arms.

NGC 4911 is a disturbed, warped spiral galaxy with a bright prominent central starburst NGC 4911 is believed to be interacting with its warped, barred lenticular companion (or any of its many other nearby companions), producing the enhanced star formation and shell-like appearance seen in optical images. The galaxy contains rich lanes of dust and gas near its centre. The existence of clouds of Hydrogen within the galaxy indicates ongoing star formation. This is rare for a spiral galaxy to be situated at the heart of a cluster.

source Wiki
 

thanks for looking

Dave

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On 01/04/2021 at 11:22, MartinB said:

Spring is here so now is the time for all you galaxy imagers and sketchers to do your stuff!  Big, small, rarely imaged faint fuzzies, galaxy clusters, or wide field images full of tiny galaxies, all are welcome.  The one exclusion is our own galaxy.  There will be a Milky Way challenge a little later this year.

All entries to have been captured during the challenge period - 1st April - 30th June

Martin, on principle I have to point out that the time frame gives an unfair advantage to the southerners. Astrodarkness just disappeared up here at 60°N and on June 30th you can read a newspaper outside at midnight. Not a personal problem since I have aimed at IFN rather than galaxies this spring. What do you think @wimvb, being a prime Swedish galaxy hunter?

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2 hours ago, gorann said:

Martin, on principle I have to point out that the time frame gives an unfair advantage to the southerners. Astrodarkness just disappeared up here at 60°N and on June 30th you can read a newspaper outside at midnight. Not a personal problem since I have aimed at IFN rather than galaxies this spring. What do you think @wimvb, being a prime Swedish galaxy hunter?

Well, we can't do much during june, so prolonging the competition a month or even two, won't help much. But if the start date could be pushed back by, say a month (1st of March), that would allow us to enter projects that we started earlier. Remember, good images require a lot of data, and we've only had 3 calender weeks to collect that data. For me, imaging season is over. Astro darkness doesn't return until August, and the moon is high in the sky. Changing the start date by one month would make it easier for anyone living further north to enter the competition without rushing things.

clearoutside.jpg.78a88250fa3f0bf696ac33e42a2cd2a3.jpg

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11 hours ago, gorann said:

Martin, on principle I have to point out that the time frame gives an unfair advantage to the southerners. Astrodarkness just disappeared up here at 60°N and on June 30th you can read a newspaper outside at midnight. Not a personal problem since I have aimed at IFN rather than galaxies this spring. What do you think @wimvb, being a prime Swedish galaxy hunter?

 

9 hours ago, wimvb said:

Well, we can't do much during june, so prolonging the competition a month or even two, won't help much. But if the start date could be pushed back by, say a month (1st of March), that would allow us to enter projects that we started earlier. Remember, good images require a lot of data, and we've only had 3 calender weeks to collect that data. For me, imaging season is over. Astro darkness doesn't return until August, and the moon is high in the sky. Changing the start date by one month would make it easier for anyone living further north to enter the competition without rushing things.

 

Yes, I can see that the time frame will restrict you.  I guess this will be the case for most of the challenges since they will benefit from darkness although some more than others.  Of course it is impossible to achieve a level playing field given other factors such as light pollution and the capabilities of different equipment.  I will certainly bear this problem in mind and if it is repeated next year I should be able to bring it forward a month.  This might mean that the "Cosmos in motion" challenge would have to start a little later meaning people will have to be out at remote locations for 2-3 hours in the early hours of the morning which might not be popular either!  Thanks for the feedback Goran.

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10 hours ago, wimvb said:

Well, we can't do much during june, so prolonging the competition a month or even two, won't help much. But if the start date could be pushed back by, say a month (1st of March), that would allow us to enter projects that we started earlier. Remember, good images require a lot of data, and we've only had 3 calender weeks to collect that data. For me, imaging season is over. Astro darkness doesn't return until August, and the moon is high in the sky. Changing the start date by one month would make it easier for anyone living further north to enter the competition without rushing things.

clearoutside.jpg.78a88250fa3f0bf696ac33e42a2cd2a3.jpg

Even in North Wales we are rapidly running out of dark. May is the end of my imaging season, certainly can’t run into June. However, I suppose we win at the other end of the year with longer nights. 
 

I think I might have enough Leo triplet data from this month to have a go as we have had several clear nights. If I get my act together I might submit something 😀

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IMHO I agree a level playing field is going to be very tricky on this one, galaxy imaging benefits from pristine dark skies, and we haven't all got those. 

But hey, it's only for fun, right?😉

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I just realized that I had a little bit (less that 3 hours) of IC342 data from 19th April that I could make an effort to process properly. I just posted it on the SGL - Deep Sky Imaging forum and it now struck me I could also submit it to the competition.

So here I am first complaining about the unfairness of the rules for us that have lost the astro darkness, and then submitting an image. A bit embarrasing 🥴. This is what I wrote in my post:

This spring was wide field IFN season for me with my RASAs and I only aimed my good old 14" SCT at a galaxy twice. For IC342 I really only thought I could use the data to add to my wide field RASA image from the night before in order to bring out a bit more detail in the galaxy. Yesterday I had a proper go at processing this data and I was surprised how much details were in there although I did not even have 3 hours. The atmosphere must have been quite steady during that period since this is at 3550 mm focal length. It is also at f/10 so more integration time would have been nice but 14" aperture seems to help as well as my Bortle 2-3 sky.

Imaged on the 19 th of April with the Meade 14" LX200R and ASI071MC (gain 200). I intended to use my new QHY268M but even the latest version of AstroImager on my Mac laptop refused to recognize it and I could not figure out how to get the rudimentary imaging program provided by QHY to work (not even QHY recommend their program). My Windows laptops, where Astroimager works fine with the QHY268M, were fully occupied with the RASAs, so I had to switch to the ASI071MC. Therefore I did not get started until after midnight. So I only got 33 x 5 min (2.75 hours).

This is what Wiki writes about it: IC 342 (also known as Caldwell 5) is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Camelopardalis, located relatively close to the Milky Way. Despite its size and actual brightness, its location in dusty areas near the galactic equator makes it difficult to observe, leading to the nickname "The Hidden Galaxy", though it can readily be detected even with binoculars. If the galaxy were not obscured, it would be visible by naked eye. The dust makes it difficult to determine its precise distance; modern estimates range from about 7 Mly to about 11 Mly.

Cheers, Göran

 

 

 

 

 

20210419 IC342 Meade NyPS47smallSign.jpg

Edited by gorann
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This is M51 imaged over 4 nights in April, the last night capturing Ha under a 85% illuminated moon. Total integration 7.6 hrs.

Dual Esprit 150/ASI 178/Mesu 200 rig, binned 2x2.

L 89 x 3 min

R 13 x 3 min

G 13 x 3 min

B 13 x 3 min

Ha(7nm) 12 x 6 min

Calibrated and stacked in APP, processed in Startools and APP.

NewCompositeHav2AP.thumb.jpg.fb0826dda3de0469311bd24bbabb6c4e.jpg

 

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M101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy

ZWO 1600MM Pro, shot at 1.61"PP

Decided not to drizzle as I wouldn't have been able to use MureDenoise.

24x180" Gain 76 Offset 15 bin 1x1 for each RGB, probably should've done 2x2 seeing as it's colour data

240x90" Gain 76 Offset 15 bin 1x1 Luminance

30x300" Gain 200 Offset 50 bin 1x1 Ha.

Admittedly not the best scope to use for galaxy imaging with 488mm fl but I thought I'd give it a go either way 

I've done many iterations of this in the past week but this one I feel is the best of them all so far. I had an issue of overcorrecting flats so had to calibrate and stack all of the data again and reprocess which got rid of some uneven blotching as well as discarding some bad blue frames since I was getting fringing.

I found that I could best handle the noise with MureDenoise as a first pass, then Jon Rista's linear denoising method, one round of TGV but 2 rounds of MMT after did wonders compared to just the one iteration. I would say that's the biggest reason I was able to get so much from the data.

I also selectively added in the strongest areas of HII with pixel math as not to make the galaxy too red bias and to highlight the main areas

All in all very happy with the outcome.

 

HaLRGB v2.1.png

Edited by matt_baker
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  • 2 weeks later...

This is my final entry, astro darkness almost gone from my location now.

NGC 4725, captured with the dual Esprit 150/ASI 178 rig, data binned 2x2 so imaging at 0.94 arcsec/pixel, total integration 5.4 hrs

L 58 x 3 min

R 15 x 3 min

G 16 x 3 min

B 19 x 3 min

Calibrated and stacked in APP, processed in APP,AP and GIMP.

combine-RGB-image-mod-StAPGP.thumb.jpg.066f0d5b9a2dddf35477afec2db59abf.jpg

 

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A slight reprocess of M51 from images taken on the 9th, 10th, 12th and 14th April 2021.  Two lovely smaller galaxies can be seen - IC 4278 (just above NGC 5195) and IC 4277 (just above and to the right of NGC 5195). Very faint but clearly visible.

In total, 285 x 120s (9.5 hours) using the StellaLyra 6" Ritchey-Chrétien on a SW AZEQ6 and a ZWO ASI533.  It was taken at native focal ratio of F9.

Captured with Voyager, stacked & calibrated in APP and processed in PixInsight.

2021-M51-PI2.thumb.png.f11168f2657ae242e496d6733e0a3771.png

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A wee bit underpowered with all the incredible images here but it does say sketches qualify & this was my first successful location of M51 - a visual experience that will stay with me forever. 

5A562C0B-D7A8-48A4-9775-10510B3A61B1.jpeg

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This is my first effort-from 6th April. Originally posted in the imaging section a while back, but suddenly occurred to me it could live here as well: the old favourite of Bodes and Cigar. Been having a play with with it- It's a smarter looking image without the dust, but less realistic, so I've decided to keep it in. This is 3 hours of Luminance and 90 mins RGB captured with an ASI1600mm Pro in a SW 200p Explorer on an HEQ5. Plus my new secret weapon: an IDAS D2 filter over the Coma Corrector (brings out the Ha really nicely!). 

1586239349_M81M82.thumb.jpg.49db85ffe8b41ab6dcfbde9b4d8e63d1.jpg

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...and this is my second effort, from 16th April, this time on Messier 106 and friends- 90 minutes luminance and 90 minutes RGB taken with the same setup and with some of the dust and patchy background left in :) .

2063841184_M106RGB210416.thumb.jpg.87198fcf55c9947141b397c4f7bf11f0.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Captured just before summer recess. A few galaxies, some not so far away, others a bit further.

In the "foreground" are six galaxies which are at distances varying from 39 Mly (ngc 3972) to 260 Mly (ngc 3921).
ngc 3972  39 MLy
ngc 3913  42 MLy
ngc 3982  49 MLy
ngc 3916 254 MLy
ngc 3977 254 MLy
ngc 3921 260 MLy

The "faint fuzzies" in this image are galaxies with a redshift between 0.05 and 0.06, which puts them at distances between 660 and 790 Mly.
LEDA 2490407 660 MLy
2MASX J11542652+5517512 776 MLy

Then there are the really faint fuzzies with redshifts around 0.08 - 0.14 or higher, which means these galaxies are 1000 to 1800 Mly distant.
2MASS J11511344+5506592 1045 MLy
LEDA 2494537 1606 MLy
SDSS J115149.73+550258.6 1800 MLy

And finally, there is galaxy cluster [SPD2011] 45352 with its brightest member SDSS J115352.61+551357.9 at a distance of 3040 MLy.

Ngc 3921 (Arp224) is a galaxy with a violent past. During an interaction with another galaxy (probably absorbed by ngc 3921), a tidal tail was formed. Also interesting is the string of bright spots on the right hand side of this galaxy. According to Simbad, these are possible globular clusters, but in a Hubble image, they look more like distant galaxies.

 

ngc3972_LRGB210630.thumb.jpg.dac27b91cbc69f1a0c655fcfa6427dd3.jpg

ngc3972_LRGB210508_annotated.thumb.jpg.8ad73936eabc20e298993d4af2eb9a0c.jpg

Capture details:

Telescope & camera: Skywatcher MN190 on AZ-EQ6 with ZWO ASI294MM

Integration time:

L: 7 hrs

RGB: 7 hrs (combined)

Processed in PixInsight.

Edited by wimvb
reprocess
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