Category Archives: Galaxies

The Whale & Crowbar Galaxies

Whale & Crowbar Galaxies on Mar 7, 2020. 184×30 sec, Gain 37, Offset 0, QHY183c cooled -20C, UHC-S filter, Televue TV-85 @ F/5.6

Not the best of nights with moonlight and high clouds, but I did manage to get enough data for a preliminary image of the Whale and Crowbar Galaxies.

Here is the detail view:

Whale Galaxy and Pup on Mar 7, 2020. 184×30 sec, Gain 37, Offset 0, QHY183c cooled -20C, UHC-S filter, Televue TV-85 @ F/5.6. Detail view.

M83 Spiral Galaxy

M83 Spiral Galaxy on Feb 22, 2020. 41×60 sec, Gain 20, Offset 15, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S Filter, Televue TV-85 @ F/5.6.
m83-41×60-g20-o15_-20C-qhy183c-uhcs-85f5_6-v2-scaled.jpg

Cut short by clouds!   I have been wanting to get this object, too.  It was finally in an area of the sky and there at the right time for me to get at least 90 minutes worth of time on it.   But, the clouds came in and ruined things only half-way in.   What I did get was decent, at least.

M101 Spiral Galaxy

M101 on Feb 29, 2020 UT. 206×30 sec, Gain37, Offset 15, 116×60 sec, Gain 20, Offset 15, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6.

Two sets of data taken back to back.  First set was with 30 sec, high-gain sub-images and the 2nd set was with 60 sec subs at medium gain.   Total time was 3.65 hours.   Cropped about 50% out to isolate the galaxy.  The 60 sec subs were better, but only because I had centered the target better and it was higher in the sky when I started the set.

Sombrero Galaxy

Sombrero Galaxy on Feb 22, 2020. 189×30 sec @ Gain 37, Offset 15, QHY183c cooled to -20C, UHC-S filter, TV-85 at F/5.6, SharpCap 3.2 LiveStacking with Dither. Rotated to portrait then cropped back to landscape format.
Sombrero Galaxy on Feb 22, 2020. 189×30 sec @ Gain 37, Offset 15, QHY183c cooled to -20C, UHC-S filter, TV-85 at F/5.6, SharpCap 3.2 LiveStacking with Dither. Detail Crop.

Virgo Galaxy Cluster – M86

Virgo Cluster centered on M86. 490×30 sec @ Gain 37, Offset 30, QHY183c cooled to -20C, UHC-S filter, TV-85 at F/5.6. SharpCap 3.2 LiveStacking w/dither.

This image is still in process.   It was not the best night for attempting this since transparency was poor at the time of imaging it.   Lots of LP in the 4 hrs of exposure accumulated and almost overwhelmed the dim galaxies.  The color was zapped out, so I took an image with only about 2 hrs of time and used it as color and the 4 hrs of exposure was used as luminosity.

M64 Black Eye Galaxy

M64 on Feb 2, 2020. 325×30 sec, Gain 42, Offset 15, -20C, QHY183c, UHC-S filter, TV-85 at F/5.6.

This object was the main goal of the night.  Not quite the 3 hrs I wanted to give it, but almost.   I took a nap while this was brewing, and ended it since the mount needed a meridian flip to keep going.   Instead of doing that, I decided to get M13 instead.

Here’s a detail crop view with a little more color saturation to go along with the above:

M64 on Feb 2, 2020. 325×30 sec, Gain 42, Offset 15, -20C, QHY183c, UHC-S filter, TV-85 at F/5.6. Detail view.

Edge-On Galaxy NGC 4565

Taken on Jan 25, 2020. 360×30 sec, gain 42, offset 15, -20C, UHC-S filter, QHY183c, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6, Atlas EQ-G w/EQMOD.

3 hours of exposure for this object.  I used SharpCap 3.2 LiveStacking and a Baader UHC-S filter to cut through the light pollution in a Bortle 8 Red Zone metro area.

Leo Trio with Baader UHC-S

Leo Trio on Dec 31, 2019. 450×30 sec with UHC-S filter and 123×30 with L-eNhance filter blend. QHY183c at -20C, Gain 42, Offset 42, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6.

Finally, the weather cleared after several weeks of clouds.  This is typical for December down here in Cajun Country.   With the clear conditions, I got a chance to try out a new UHC-S filter I purchased from Baader Planetarium.   It replaces the cheap generic UHC filter I got from Amazon.  Still shooting from the big city these days in Bortle 8 Red zone is a good test of these filters to see how much LP gets in and how well galaxies and nebulae show up.

I found out the L-eNhance filter doesn’t do much for galaxies unless they have lots of H-alpha regions.  An hour worth of subs I took at the beginning of the month of the Leo Trio barely had anything worth keeping, so I only blended about 25% of it in to this image.   The 450×30 sec Live Stack with dithering turned on I acquired in SharpCap 3.2 and the UHC-S filter was good enough to stand on its own.

Minimal post processing was done for this one, which is always nice after staying up all night imaging.   lol  🙂

Before I shot the Leo Trio, I did a “blue test” on the Pleiades.   I have 16 minutes worth of data and it shows how well this filter does with broad band and non-h-alpha objects.   Check it out:

M45. 32×30 sec, Gain 42, Offset 42, -20C, UHC-S filter, QHY183c, TV-85 at F/5.6.