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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Astronomy & Celestial 
Thread started 08 Feb 2011 (Tuesday) 08:46
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My latest : Whirlpool Galaxy

 
Catanonia
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Feb 08, 2011 08:46 |  #1

What a cracking night it was with beautiful clear skies and the Met Office for once were bang on the money with clear skies at 9pm just as the wife left for her night shift.

The 1st target was M78, but way to many problems and decided to see whether my main target M51 had cleared the house. Well at 10:15 it had and away we went.

I started off with 5 min subs and moved onto 8 min subs with the new Skywatcher Mak-Newt MN190.

In total i managed to get about 6.5 hours worth of LRGB and had some great chats with martin online as he was imaging the same target as well with the same ccd. Was fun exchanging banter and tips.

So after a bit of processing, here is M51 the Whirlpool galaxy

Details

L = 1h 18m
R = 1h 50m
G = 1h 42m
B = 1h 42m all with 5 and 8 min subs

Scope = Skywatcher MN190 FL1000mm F5.3 no reducers
CCD = QHY9 mono with 2 inch QHY filters
Guide = ADM Dual mounted Skywatcher ED80 Pro with QHY5 and PHD on EQ6 Pro mount

Processed with MaximDL, DSS and CS5 and cropped by about 30% for a better FOV.

I might try and grab some Ha and more luminance for this object if the skies ever clear again.



The Whirlpool Galaxy is a classic spiral galaxy. At only 30 million years distant and fully 60 thousand light years across, M51, also known as NGC 5194, is one of the brightest and most picturesque galaxies on the sky. M51 is a spiral galaxy of type Sc and is the dominant member of a whole group of galaxies. Astronomers speculate that M51's spiral structure is primarily due to its gravitational interaction with the smaller galaxy.

Located within the constellation Canes Venatici, M51 is found by following the easternmost star of the Big Dipper, Eta Ursae Majoris, and going 3.5° southeast. Its declination is +47°, making it a circumpolar for observers located above 43°N latitude; it reaches high altitudes throughout the northern hemisphere making it an accessible object from the early hours in winter through the end of spring season, after which observation is hindered in lower latitudes.

M51 is visible through binoculars under dark sky conditions and can be resolved in detail with modern amateur telescopes. When seen through a 100 mm telescope the basic outlines of M51 and its companion are visible. Under dark skies, and with a moderate eyepiece through a 150 mm telescope, M51's intrinsic spiral structure can be detected. With larger (>300 mm) instruments under dark sky conditions, the various spiral bands are apparent with HII regions visible, and M51 can be seen to be attached to M51B.

Larger version can be found here

http://extraview.dnsal​ias.com/temp/QHY9/M51 MN190 Feb 2011.jpg (external link)

How many extra fuzzies can you spot on the larger image ? :)

I hope you like it.

Cat


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coarsegold1
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Feb 08, 2011 08:56 |  #2

Stunning - thank you


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Harm
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Feb 08, 2011 09:02 |  #3

ace work, cat


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Bernoulli
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Feb 08, 2011 09:43 as a reply to  @ Harm's post |  #4

I always look forward to your pics! But this one is exceptional.

I don't know how deep the exposure is magnitude-wise, but it's pretty deep. As you pointed out there are a number of background galaxies visible so I'm guessing you're north of 16 or so.

One thing that really stands out to me is the stream of stars extending down and to the right, almost a full galaxy diameter. This is characteristic of colliding galaxies and you rarely see it in an amateur exposure of M51.


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paul3221
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Feb 08, 2011 11:56 |  #5

Amazing image. Thanks for sharing.

Paul


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SteveInNZ
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Feb 08, 2011 12:06 |  #6

Another excellent image. I like how you can see things going on. It's quite dynamic with the different structures and population ages.
I can see APOD in your future.

Steve.


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naddieuk
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Feb 08, 2011 12:50 |  #7

That is absolutely superb! I always look forward to your posts as I know the images I will see are amazing.


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Catanonia
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Feb 08, 2011 14:38 |  #8

SteveInNZ wrote in post #11802042 (external link)
Another excellent image. I like how you can see things going on. It's quite dynamic with the different structures and population ages.
I can see APOD in your future.

Steve.

Thanks mate :)

Check this link,

http://astronomy.fm …la+in+Hydrogen+​Alpha.html (external link)

Got AAPOD in December 2010

Thanks all for the kind comments.


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J.Litton
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Feb 08, 2011 14:43 |  #9

Sounds like I just read a short novel in a foreign language..


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NovaTJ
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Feb 08, 2011 15:09 as a reply to  @ J.Litton's post |  #10

Small monitor at work, but I think I see at least three additional galaxies...

I often think that I need to try new subjects, but find I am always going back to the same few galaxies to try to do better than the last time. You have done an outstanding job here Cat! Jealous of your skys and exposure lengths.

I can see the next APOD coming up for you soon. By the way, your image for December was fantastic and well deserving of the award!

Congrats!

Greg


Astro-Tech 8" f/4 imaging Newtonian,Baader MPCC,Orion ED 80 APO F7.5,Skywatcher EQ-6 Pro,ASGT, Modified Canon 50D, Meade DSI Guide Camera, 8" SCT dovetail mounted relic, Criterion Dynascope RV-6, modified 300D, custom astro shed,and still just getting started!

  
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Celestron
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Feb 08, 2011 16:20 |  #11

Looks great Cat ! You really did good on this one and got a couple fuzzies with it that show well . WTG !




  
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DavidFenwick
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Feb 09, 2011 06:29 |  #12

An absolutely phenomenal image and great to read all the background info too - many thanks for sharing!


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Adrena1in
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Feb 09, 2011 08:45 |  #13

Beautiful image Cat of one of my favourite galaxies. Is it me, or do your stars look a tiny bit blurry? M51 doesn't though, so perhaps it's me.


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Casper ­ Smit
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Feb 09, 2011 08:52 |  #14

WOW !


Casper B Smit

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Catanonia
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Feb 10, 2011 11:52 |  #15

Thanks everyone, glad I got the MN190 now after 1st proper moonless night :)

Adrena1in, the focus was as close as I could get it, might be the processing as I sharpened the galaxy with a feather and hence the difference.


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My latest : Whirlpool Galaxy
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