IC2574

IC2574
IC2574

IC2574 is the faint smudge in the center, 13 million light-years away. A dim dwarf spiral galaxy. According to Wikipedia, approximately 90% of its mass is dark matter.

Taken with a 110mm F/7 refractor. Total exposure time is about 13 hours.

Annotated IC2574
An annotated version

 

M63

M63

Sometimes referred to as “the Sunflower Galaxy”. This image has about 7 hours total exposure time.  It is quite a pretty galaxy — if you zoom in (ie, click on the picture), it looks like a swirl of altocumulus clouds on a spring day.

 

Fountain in Seville

Accidents happen.  The stop in Seville was less than ideal: dock in Cadiz, catch an early morning bus, then a walking tour of a couple of high points of Seville. Back to the bus, back to the ship. I don’t remember taking this picture, but there are many other images of the area on my camera, so I must have. Anyway, I thought it was nice:

Seville

It’s a color image, though it looks B&W.

M97 and M108

M97 and M108
M97 and M108

M97 is also known as “the Owl Nebula” — you can barely see the two eyes. M108 is known, for some reason, as the “Surfboard Galaxy”. North, by the way, is to the right.

M108 is also the galaxy on the left edge of the images I posted yesterday. The image yesterday was a failed attempt to integrate 14 separate exposures; the image above was a successful attempt to integrate 16 (different) exposures. Yesterday’s failure haunts me — I worked on it for hours. Here’s a cut from the above image of approximately the same aspect:

Edge of M108
Edge of M108

Striking, to me at least, is that there were two stars in this region in yesterday’s image, but only one here. I’m pretty sure that this image is a better reflection of reality…  Perhaps that is a clue about what I was doing wrong!

S/N

A colorful mosaic; an extreme magnification of an image of space at the edge of a galaxy. Two prominent stars, some bright spots that are probably just defects in the sensor, or maybe where a cosmic ray hit and produced a single bright flash. Mostly, this is just visual noise. Noise

Here’s a different version, where the individual pixels have been smoothed:

Noise

A prettified instantaneous snapshot of the quantum noise roiling across the sensor. Perhaps if I could make a movie, these would be tiny agitated multicolored ripples. But the two stars would remain, hard reminders of a real world, and the brightness at the right edge would also remain, testifying to that galaxy — M108, I’ve heard — off-screen to the right.

Edit: I’ve since discovered that one of those stars must be an image-processing artifact. So much for reality.

NGC4244

NGC4244
NGC4244

Another galaxy floating in splendid isolation. According to this Wikipedia article it is part of the M94 group, which is loosely bound to the extent that some members are just “moving with the expansion of the universe”.

Take that, Putin!

Tadpole Nebula

Tadpole Nebula
SH2-236 — Tadpole Nebula

The “tadpoles” are slightly lower left of center.  There are two of them: bright structures rather than the usual dark spots.

Iris Nebula

Iris Nebula
Iris Nebula

I imagine this was a particularly dirty explosion, throwing dark dust clouds and obscuring large patches of a dense starfield. If you look closely, there is a gritty quality to the image.

 

Well, the moon.

The Moon

My telescope isn’t ideal for taking a picture of the moon, but I gave it a shot anyway. Not much processing, though I did try to sharpen it a bit. Kind of a bleak, burned-out cinder look here.