Image of M52 made by stacking 10 x 30 secs shots through a Skywatcher 150mm f/8 refracting telescope on 20 August 2013, taken at Brickfield Observatory by Ivan Walton and Ted Pearson.
Another lovely astroimage from member Graham Caller. This is the interacting galaxies which make up M51, the “Whirlpool Galaxy” (as first listed by Charles Messier).
M51A and the smaller object M51B are interacting. You can even see this galaxy combination with decent binoculars (but not quite as clearly as in this image!).
“One M51 finished image attached.
Out of 18 images I got 10 usable that didn’t have noticable trailing. I suspect the defective shots were the result of periodic error in the mount tracking.
The 10 images stacked had flats and bias frames added but no darks as I haven’t taken 5 mins exposure darks before. That’s something to do on the cold and cloudy nights which we have no shortage of 🙂 “
“Amazing what a bit of accurate polar alignment does for the shots. I’d been having trouble with star trails appearing after 60 sec exposures.
A bit of research later, lots of learning how to polar align accurately without plugging into a computer or mastering drift aligning and voila 150 secs exposures. (I should have pushed 180 but that’s another night)
It was cold and late when I finished but imagine what another hour of data could show. Good to see less noise with longer exposures. Attached also (below) is my first attempt on 2nd Feb.”
Image of M31 the Andromeda Galaxy, captured with Canon dSLR by our member Graham Caller.
Not too shabby methinks…
Here are Graham’s comments: