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Galaxy season

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It's April and it seems this is known as the galaxy season.  In previous years I have taken my C8 down to darkest Devon for a view of some galaxies.  However in 2020 I was ill and there were COVID travel restrictions.  This year, still COVID travel restrictions.  However all is not lost - with a sensitive planetary camera attached to my 102mm Startravel I can battle the urban light pollution, with results that are almost comparable with using a C8 at a dark skies site. 

I imaged a number of galaxies from my backyard on 4th and 5th April, with a typical result shown below - M61 and, it appears, one or two fainter galaxies.  Equipment: 102mm f5 achro refractor, ASI224MC, SLT mount on wood tripod.  Typical exposure 5 secs live stacked to 100 secs total. The field of view is about 0.5 degree (similar to 25mm EP in a C8). This image may not look like much, but is a lot better than I can see visually from here.


Edited by Cosmic Geoff
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Nice image and some structure starting to show in the main galaxy. I am starting on the EEVA route myself and am amazed by what can be picked up in such short exposure times. As you say, better than can be seen visually.

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It might be worth exploring the sub time used. Greatest noise reduction occurs up to about 7 seconds so I try to use 7 seconds as my minimum time (it does depend on the scope being used and the object I am observing). Also I try to use a minimum of 20 but 30 is better in the stack to improve the picture quality. Beyond 30 there is still improvement to be had but less so.

Have fun,


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