NGC 4565, redux

NGC 4565
NGC 4565 in its field of stars.

It’s the tiny needle dead center in the photo.  Hard to see unless you view it on a large screen, maybe with the brightness turned up.  Space is an extremely lonely place…

(This image needs a lot more processing — maybe I will post a better version later.)


Edge on spiral galaxy
I don’t have any equipment that make this object visible by eye. Only a long exposure photo works…

(Click on the image to expand it — the default display size is difficult.)

Noise, 2021-05-05

M97, M108, NGC 3656, NGC 3549
M97 (Owl Nebula), M108 (Surfboard Galaxy, NGC 3656, NGC 3549

M97 is upper center right — you can make out the 2 “eyes”; M108 is upper right; NGC 3656 is barely visible in the lower left corner, and NGC 3549 is barely visible in the lower right.  About the limit of the conditions, the equipment, and the image processing skill.

Here I try to bring out the noise that I worked so hard to eliminate in the first photo.  As a photo, I think this one is better…

M81-M82-NGC3077 2021-04-11
Three Galaxies…

This is M82 (the “Cigar Galaxy”), M81, and, in the upper right, NGC3077…

The Beehive Cluster

The Behive Cluster
The Behive Cluster

Something completely different — just stars.

I have a new GEM — German Equatorial Mount — and I have to learn about it.   It replaces a Sky Watcher camera mount that was overwhelmed by the additional weight of a small refractor telescope, and couldn’t track properly.  This new mount is much steadier; the small background stars above are very crisp, though I’m not happy with the image processing — if you pixel-peep, you will see what I mean.

Washed out image of the Whirlpool Galaxy

Washed out image of whirlpool galaxy
Whirlpool Galaxy

This is a stack of over 70-some 30 second exposures of the Whirlpool galaxy. While there is significant detail, the dynamic range is pathetic.  I think this is because 1) the individual exposures are short, and 2) there was a nearly full moon.

However, I’ve seen beautiful photos from stacks of hundreds of 3 second exposures, and the cumulative time from my frames is larger.  So undoubtedly my processing technique is faulty.  OTOH, I’m not sure of the magnitude of the effect from the moon.  Further investigation is required…

Whirlpool Galaxy

small image of whirlpool galaxy M51
M51 Whirlpool Galaxy

A chestnut.  Taken with a small (61mm) low-power telescope from my light-polluted back yard.  Heavily cropped, otherwise it would be too small to identify.  I’m running into the limits of my equipment — this is about 200 individual one minute exposures stacked together, taken over two nights.

Practice makes better.

The Orion Nebula - 2021-03-16
Orion Nebula below, “Running Man” Nebula at top..


Actually there’s another nebula, making three all together.  The Orion Nebula proper, also known as M42, is the large spread wings brightness in the lower center.  Separated from M42 by a narrow dark lane is the tear drop shape in the slightly left upper dead center, M43, apparently also known as “Mairan’s Nebula”.  And finally in the upper third is the  dimmer”Running Man” Nebula, in the top.

I’m getting better at this, but it is an incremental process.