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M106 in Widefield


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M106 is a beautiful galaxy in close up. But in widefield there are just so many small, faint fuzzy galaxies it tends to stretch the mind a bit!

I took great care during processing to try to preserve as many of these faint fuzzies as I could - noise reduction and star reduction can both affect the small galaxies. This is the result of around 8 hours with the SW 80ED, the ASI 2600mc and the L-pro filter.


And this is an annotated version - all the blue labels are PGC galaxies visible in the image.does anyone know of an easy way to get PI to include distances in the annotation?


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1 hour ago, Greymouser said:

Would you mind explaining to a very simple person like me, how you achieve all the annotations?

Images like this inspire me to enter the dark arts and bankrupt myself... :grin:

😂 It can certainly be a money pit if you let it. But there are budget ways to get started that will not take the shirt from your back and can produce wonderful images. And allow you to decide if its really for you. But be warned, its one of these things that can be almost addictive!


The annotations are really easy. Pixinsight is one of the most used programs for processing the images (another warning - taking the images is only half the story - processing is equally involved and can take a bit of learning). Anyway, in Pixinsight you first use a module (actually a script) which uses plate solving to identify the image field, i.e where is the camera pointing, than a second module which uses the plate solved co-ordinates to interrogate appropriate databases to identify the items visible in the image and stick the labels on. All in it took about 5 minutes.  

Now please dont ask me how blind platesolving can identify the co-ordinates of an image within a few seconds because it seems like black magic to me.🤯

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This is more than the mind can boggle!

I always assumed that PGC was a star catalog as the majority of the entries are just points of light - just looked it up and it's the Principle Galaxies Catalog! 

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