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Novice Challenge

M51 data from two seasons


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I have collected some 18 hrs of data on M51 for this year's SGL Galaxy Challenge but I thought it would be interesting to combine this with another 8.3 hrs from 2021.

So this is 26.3 hrs integration using the Esprit150/ASI178/LRGB/Mesu dual rig, binned 2x2 so imaging at 0.94 arcsec/pixel. My framing was as usual  not consistent across the two data sets so a lot of work was needed with the Clone and Inpainting tools in Affinity Photo on the starless image to achieve a smooth background without the joins showing. If you are wondering why IC4277 looks so razor sharp, SXT identified this as a star so I assume it has been stripped of its fuzziness. I'm not sure why, but on earlier iterations with less data, it was identified as a galaxy.

Processed in PI with the RC toolset very much in play. The tidal tails are not as prominent as I thought they might be, but at lot of the 2023 data was collected under a prominent moon.

Thanks for looking.



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That is an excellent image of M51 Steve! Soft but still sharp. If it worries you why not just revert to the older version of IC4277 - a 1 minute job with a layer and brush tool in PS.

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