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SGL 2022 Challenge 3 - Galaxy Clusters


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Start Date: 1st March 2022
End Date: 31st May 2022

We are now coming into "galaxy season".  Smaller galaxies are very difficult to successfully image individually since they are so small, however they can often be found in very photogenic clusters especially at this time of year.  The challenge is to produce a galaxy image containing at least 4 clearly discernible galaxies.

 

A personalised mug for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places featuring your entry kindly provided by our sponsors FLO :) and a virtual trophy for your signature.

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RULES

All data must be captured and processed by you (no collaborative entries). 
Data must be captured during the challenge start & end dates. 
Multiple entries are allowed.
Multiple submissions of the same image, processed differently, will not be accepted.

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To enter please post within this topic, do not start a new topic. Please post as much information as possible - when it was taken, how it was captured and processed, etc. The info won't necessarily be used for judging but will help fellow SGLers looking to learn and improve their knowledge and technique.

The thread is for image submissions only, please do not respond to entries other than by using emojies.  

If anyone has any questions about the challenge please message me directly rather than via this thread.

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Ok, I'll get this one started....

Here is my rendition of the Leo Quartet or Hickson 44 which consists of NGC3190, 3193, 3185 and 3187 Approximately 13 hours of usable data over two nights on the 5th and 6th of March from Bortle 5/6 back garden. Seeing was at best average, so not as sharp as I would have hoped. Imaged using the StellaLyra RC8 on an AZ-EQ6 with an ASI1600mm pro in LRGB. Made up of about 2 hours each of RGB and the remaining 7hrs of luminance - all in 3 minute subs. Processed in Astro Pixel Processor, Startools and Affinity.

Hopefully I might get another session in before the competition ends, but that will depend on sunny Cumbria😁

 

 

 

 

 

Leo_Quartet-LRGB_ST AP2.jpg

Leo_Quartet-LRGB_ST AP2.tiff

Edited by Clarkey
New image - did not like the original!
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Here is Holmberg 124 in Ursa Major,  made up of NGC 2805 on the upper left, and NGC 2814 and NGC 2820.  I'm not sure if the knot on the LHS of NGC 2820 constitutes a separate galaxy, if not the image may not be eligible for the competition!

A total of 7.1 hrs of data taken with the Esprit 150/ASI 178 dual rig, as follows:

L 110 x 2 mins, R 46 x 2 mins, G 34 x 2 mins and B 24 x 2 mins, all binned 2x2. Calibrated and stacked in APP, combined in APP, further processed in StarTools, PI, AP and GIMP..

Image11.thumb.jpg.7ec9d2628dcfa561a5ceb19311ddb264.jpg

 

Edited by tomato
Processing note edited
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Not going to win any prizes but this was my first galaxy pic last week, so I was very excited none-the-less

Leo Triplet includes spiral galaxies M65, M66, and NGC 3628.  Can also see NGC3593 on the right.

 

SW72ED

Az GTi mount (standard az mode)

nikon 5600

50x13sec exposures ISO 2000 

edited in DSS and Gimp

7D368633-CCB0-4084-9386-A42A361F0E36.jpeg

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I'll add another one to the party....

Also taken on the 5th and 6th of March with the StellaMira 90mm ED triplet on an HEQ5 Pro. Imaged using a Canon 600D with no filters over about 13 hours with around 12 hours usable data. Bortle 5/6 garden and the seeing was not very good. Processed in Astro Pixel Processor, Startools and Affinity.

Main spiral galaxy is NGC4535 'The Lost Galaxy of Copeland', below that is NGC4526 'The Hairy Eyebrow'. The other main large galaxy in the picture is M49. In addtion there are a number of smaller galaxies including NGC4469, NGC4519 and NGC4460 all within Virgo.

NGC4535_Group-ST2 Crop.jpg

NGC4535_Group-ST2 Crop.tiff

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My effort, shot in a mad rush last night in the roughly 2 1/2 hours between moonset and the end of astronomical darkness. I ended up with 22 useable 300 second exposures as some high cloud drifted through during the night. Shot with a 10"F4 Newtonian and ZWO ASI2600MC Pro camera. 

 

This shot is in Centaurus, easily made out are NGC4601, 4603, 4616 and 4622 with many other galaxies visible either as sizeable objects or background smudges. I think I am going to have to go to this area again come the new moon and have a really good go at it to bring out more detail in the background.

 

2017856901_Galaxiessmaller.thumb.jpg.b1424b9af38361f7343753efd4ecf682.jpg

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It has indeed been a challenge trying to find a galaxy cluster away from the moon over this recent spell of clear nights. This is Abell 426 in Perseus  centered on NGC 1272. Imaged over 3 nights before it set below the roof of my house.

Captured with the Esprit 150/ASI 178 dual rig, L 147 x 2 mins, RGB 46 x 2 mins each, all binned 2x2, best 80% of the subs captured have been processed.

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

Image03.thumb.jpg.cd2a312770c36a34eee52917c648d0d8.jpg

 

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Another attempt at the Hickson Group 44.

This image was taken from West Sussex in the UK, on a full moon (but who would disregard some clear sky in England??) with my RC8 on a EQ6-R mount, ASI533MC color camera.

69 subframes of 180s each, Gain 100, Bin2. 19th March.1760249259_HicksonGroup4469x180sFinalPIv3.thumb.jpg.b36fe3e1452f6c0b71cd9afaeb57e1d1.jpg

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Here'e my entry into the Galaxy Clusters.

This is an interesting group around the barred spiral NGC3079 in Ursa Major, with the brightest being PGC028990 and NGC3073 below it and a whole array of faint galaxies around. NGC 3079 is spewing out a huge hot bubble of particles in the centre detected by the Hubble ST. I tried to capture it in HA, but I suspect it needs a LOT of exposure time. What's most interesting, though, is to the lower right of the galaxy, something which appears to be a double star with a separation of 6 arcseconds.

It is, in fact, the so-called Twin Quasar, a double image of the same massive object created by gravitational lensing, a result from gravitational lensing caused by the galaxy YGKOW G1 that is located directly between Earth and the quasar. The first to be discovered (in 1979) and my first. The foreground galaxy has bent space and forced the quasar’s light to take two separate routes to reach us. These individual light paths travel on different sides of the foreground galaxy so that one traverses extra mileage. Thus, any flickering or change in one image of the quasar is followed by the same change in the other image 417 days later.

Apparently 174 times further from us than NGC3079, 8.7 billion light years away!

Atik 383L+, 250mm f/4.8 Newt. 52 x 300s exposures luminance, 18 x 300s R & B binned 2x, synthetic green channel, 12 x 600s HA binned 2x

51958387768_fad4577e6c_k.jpg

here it is annotated

51958387788_65fce6c9a1_k.jpg

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This is HCG 61 in Leo otherwise known as "The Box". Captured with the dual Esprit150/ASI 178 dual rig, 10 hrs of integration made up of 165 x 2 mins L, 45 x 2 mins each RGB all binned 2x2. Calibrated and stacked in APP, processed in APP, PI and AP.

HCG61_LRGB_2x2_299x2mins-LRGB_3-crop-lpc-cbg-StPIAPGDN.thumb.jpg.eeb852203cabc74c514faf9e98443d8c.jpg

Edited by tomato
Updated process of original data
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When I've imaged M101 in the past, I've just concentrated on the main galaxy.

Last night (25th March) I went further afield to capture M101, NGC5474 & NGC5477 in the same frame.

Taken with Evostar 100ED DS Pro, 085 FR/FF and ASI294MC Pro. This is 3h35m of 300s exposures at gain 120 and offset 8.

I've added an annotated version for completeness. ;)

1460237679_M101-PinwheelGalaxy-25032022-3h35m.png.0957e3f72dc0a5d4f799ac133acc6546.png

2087755014_M101-PinwheelGalaxy-25032022-3h35-annotated.png.eb555b8bff8e33a22854db1fb19dbe20.png

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Well, you asked for a galaxy cluster so...

...I offer you the Coma Cluster (Or part thereof)

Captured 18 subs each RGB in Bin 2 G2v calibration (Red  and G, 600 sec, B 1050 sec) and 36 x 600 sec Bin 1 Luminance, but there was some trailing so not all the subs made it into the final stacks.

Capture in Maxim DL6 / ASA Sequence with the ODK rig, Stacking (Sigma Add. full calibration) and bashing around a bit in AstroArt 8. Saved as a JPEG (The PNG is nearly 80 MB)

284537329_FirstLRGB.thumb.jpg.9a43fea35154ad5746ac6c0761c50403.jpg

North is up. I could, perhaps have framed this a bit better, but it is what it is.

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Here's a nice little trio of edge-on galaxies in the Virgo cluster. From left to right, NGC4206, NGC4216, and NGC4222 plus a myriad of fainter galaxies.

Atik 383L+, 250mm f/4.8 Newt. 64 x 300s exposures luminance, 20 x 120s R & B binned 2x, synthetic green channel.

51965185072_dda49822e3_h.jpg

Annotated:

51966176726_302531ad57_h.jpg

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Sometimes less is more, and sometimes more is more. So here's less focal length, giving more galaxies. This is the Markarian Chain and friends.

This was shot on 26th March from my heavily light polluted garden using my Fuji X-T2 with a 50-230mm lens (at 230mm) on my Losmandy G11. 4 hours worth of 60sec subs.

spacer.png

I knew there were a lot of galaxies in this region but until I started peering at it in order to annotate I didn't realise quite how many.

I've made out over 50 in this shot and I can see a few more in there but both KStars and SkySafari top out at magnitude 16 so I can't identify the really faint fuzzies. Annotated version...

571827764_Galaxiesannotated.thumb.jpg.2ebc39671716e557b39a860e4e1dd8cc.jpg

hl;

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Hi all, I haven't posted an image to this forum for several years but I now have more free-time to image regularly - there is an upside to working from home :)

This is NGC 4725 and cohorts. It looks NGC 4725 had a tangle with 4747 and neither came off well.

Imaged from the 22nd to 25th March, total integration time was 9 hours and 15 minutes, (2h20 Blue, 2hr53 G, 2hr05 Red, 1h56 Ha). Imaged with an ASI1600mm pro and ZWO filters with an ancient Orion Optics UK 250mm Newt on a CEM70G.  Captured with N.I.N.A, processed in PI and tweaked in Paint Shop pro. That was a remarkable few days of good weather.

NGC4725_final.png

NGC4725_group_Annotated.png

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Since this challenge is about Galaxy clusters and I just finished working on Hickson 44 I thought I'd add mine as well even though all the images here are really, really amazing to look at. This was the first time I used the ASI533 on a Galaxy cluster, I have had the camera since three months now and I am really happy with it. This galaxy cluster was shot with a 150PDS sitting on an AVX and an ASI533mc pro with a ZWO IR cut filter. Guiding was done with an old ASI120mc and the SW 9x50 finderscope.

I shot a total of 12h 15m, of which I used 10h 57m, all shot on 20.03., 21.03., 23.03., and 25.03. The light frames were 180s @ 100 gain, 13 offset, and -10°C, dithered every shot. All of the frames were shot in a Bortle 6/7 sky, unfortunately there are a lot of windows with lights on in the night (what are they all doing if they aren't shooting the night sky??). All of the processing was done in PI.

Integrated with local normalization in Pixinsight, in the linear phase I did a dynamic crop, followed by channel extraction, linear fit to the weakest channel, DBE x2 to remove gradients, TGV denoise and MMT based on Jon Rista's tutorial. 

For the non linear phase I stretched the image with HT, inbetween stretching I used ACDNR for some further noise reduction, followed by starnet v2 to work on the starless image. On the galaxy cluster I used HDRMT twice with different settings, then LHE, s-curve stretch for contrast, curves on saturation and selective color boost using colorsaturation. MLT with a lum mask to sharpen details, saturation boost on stars, followed by pixelmath to combine the starless image with stars. The final step was MLT with a lum mask for noise reduction. 

Clear skies to all and once again, all of the images here are amazing!

NGC 3190.jpg

Edited by Alexp
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Hickson 44 in Leo, Esprit150SX46 for 7hrs Lum and 1 hr each RGB, Esprit100ASI1600 for 2.5hrs each RGB, captured on the 25th and 26th March. Processed in Pixinsight and Photoshop.

thanks for looking

Dave

Hickson44_L_RGB_Final_crop_GHSsatn1Apr22.thumb.png.5f8481b8e2442258991493b605e58104.png

 

Edited by Laurin Dave
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Herewith my offering of Messier 100 (NGC4321) and friends, a 'grand design' intermediate spiral galaxy Coma Berenices, one of the brightest and largest galaxies in the Virgo Cluster and is approximately 55 million light-years distant.

Atik 383L+, 250mm f/4.8 Newt. 58 x 300s exposures luminance, 20 x 120s R & B binned 2x, synthetic green channel. Captured over the nights of 24/25, 27/28 March and 1/2 April 2022.

51975818337_21de2b7220_k.jpg

51977376770_b3ed300d69_k.jpg

Edited by lukebl
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My first DSO Galaxies, albeit only 3

M51 etc

 

Fornax LT2, TS Optics 72mm ED doublet, 0,8 reducer, guiding ASI AirPro, 150s exposures at 105 gain, 35 frames, cropped in due to wide angle

 

 

 

WP1.jpg

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Here is a lovely group of galaxies in Virgo, the jewel being the lovely spiral NGC5364 at upper left, discovered by William Herschel on February 2 1786. To its lower right is NGC5363, a lenticular galaxy, c 60 million light-years distant. Near the bottom is the spiral galaxy NGC5356. The bright star to the right of NGC5363 is 8th magnitude HD121605.

Captured using an Atik 383L+, 250mm f/4.8 Newt. 67 x 300s exposures luminance, 20 x 120s R & B binned 2x, synthetic green channel. Stacked in ASTAP, processed in Photoshop. Field of view 50.6 x 37.7 arcmins. 0.922 arcsec/pixel

51977863922_34248297bb_k.jpg

 

51979430925_1cdc80fbc4_k.jpg

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From last night 2/3 April when conditions were very good.  NGC5907 (also labelled NGC5906) The Splinter Galaxy in Draco about 50 million light years distant. It has anomalously low metallicity has very few giant stars and is apparently composed almost entirely of dwarf stars, Also in the frame are face on barred spiral NGC5905 (which I think looks somewhat special) and edge on spiral NGC5908. -  These two galaxies are about 150 million light years away and about 500,000 light years apart. and are the "Cluster".    5hrs Lum Esprit150SX46, 1.5hrs each RGB Esprit100ASI1600

Dave

NGC5907_L_RGB_Final_3Apr22_crop.thumb.png.7c07348598e2e8bd0035b6b683ea49a5.png

 

NGC5907_L_RGB_Final_3Apr22_Annotated_crop.thumb.png.93d213383ade88410b3335f22470ff95.png

Edited by Laurin Dave
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I thought I would enter this one as well.

This has NGC3718 as the main focus with NGC3729 above it and ARP322, a galaxy chain, to the left.

Subs taken on the 31st March and I used 1h21m 180s subs, taken with ASI294MC Pro on an Evostar 100ED DS Pro with 0.85 FR/FF. Stacked in DSS & processed in PI.

NGC3718-31032022-1h21m.png.623a749d996150e410c4be5189e1cc14.png

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Oh dear, yet another Hickson 44, sorry.

I already had this underway so decided to take it to some kind of completion rather than start another target with rapidly diminishing night / encroaching moon and weather.

This is 5 hours Bin 1 Luminance in 10 min subs, plus 12 subs each RGB Bin 2 in 10 : 10 : 17.5 mins for a total of 12 3/4 hours. Yep, not nearly enough.

1338148043_LRGBforCompetition.thumb.jpg.25ef930af07f866a86775e0de0cb2090.jpg

In addition to the four main galaxies, there are another four not-too-faint fuzzies. This is a centre crop of the image, so you won't have to squint to see anything.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's an interesting little string of galaxies in Virgo, viewed from a different perspective.

Sometimes the reverse image can appear to show better detail. To my eyes, the lovely barred spiral NGC 5850 (c. 130 Mly distant) at the top looks more pleasing in reverse (it looks like the eye of a frog to me!). The others here are the elliptical galaxy NGC 5846 and 5846A below it, NGC5845 below them and 5839 at the bottom. Near the right edge is the spiral galaxy NGC5848, with many fainter distant galaxies around.

60 x 300s exposures, ATIL 383L+, 250PDS Newtonian. Stacked in ASTAP. Field of view 51.5 x 38.7 arcmin. 0.924 arcsec/pixel.

52023940751_509fe48e1b_k.jpg

Labelled:

52022897792_6a23c1abe1_k.jpg

Edited by lukebl
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