27 Mar 2010

SkyWatcher ED80 Pro

I just noticed that there's no proper picture of my imaging setups. So here's the one with smaller scope:

From left: QHY9, QHY filter wheel with Astronomik's HaLRGB filters, TS 9mm OAG with Atk314e, WO 0.8 reducer and finally the ED 80Pro with Robofocus. The mount is EQ-6 SynTrek.

24 Mar 2010


This spiral galaxy was my next target. It is located approximately 39 million light years away.

Total exposure of the image is 8h 15min (L=5h 50min, RGB=50:40:55).

18 Mar 2010

M101; Pinwheel Galaxy

This is another part of my two-night project. In both nights I started with M65&M66 and after 3-4 hours of imaging continued with this one.

This can be found in constellation Ursa Major and lies about 27 million light years away. With a diameter of 170000 light years it's nearly twice the size of the Milky Way (our own galaxy).

Picture have a total exposure of 5h 35min (L=8*10min+9*15min, RGB=8*5min each, bin2*2)

17 Mar 2010

Part of Leo Triplet; M65 and M66

I imaged these galaxies in two separate nights. And the latter one was the first I monitored over internet. Everything worked fine so maybe next summer I have to update my observatory a bit... Maybe to fully automated version. We'll see!!

Like mentioned above, these two spiral galaxies are located in constellation Leo. Distance from here is about 22 million light years. The missing part of the triplet is NGC3625.

Image is LRGB combination, with total exposure of 7h15min (L=12*600+11*900sec, RGB=10*300sec each binned2*2).

Now I have to say that I'm very happy with the result!!

10 Mar 2010

C/2005 L3 (McNaught) and C/2007 Q3 (Siding Spring)

On monday weather forecast was clear sky but I gave up at midnight because sky still was filled with clouds. Yesterday forecast was cloudy but sky was almost clear until 10pm. There were scattered clouds so I didn't even try any deep sky imaging. So I aimed my scope to few comets!

First one I was going to image on monday. Or actually I was going to image M94 but the McNaught was right beside it. On tuesday they still were so close that I got them to same field. I knew that the comet was quite faint, on mid January it was measured to be at magnitude 14.9 but I wanted to try to capture it.

Comet is on right and slightly up of the galaxy (M94). Exposure was 4*2min + 1*5min of luminance (bin3*3).

I tried to measure comet's brightness and here's the result (red line. Others are magnitudes of reference stars):

Another one that I had time to image was C/2007 Q3. This is one of the brightest comets on the northern hemisphere at the moment. It was mag 11.1 about month ago.

This is combination of 5*2min exposures binned 2*2 (L).

And here's photometry: (which is quite weird because comet's should be brighter than mag 10...)

7 Mar 2010

NGC 4565; Needle Galaxy

This winter has been awful for astrophotography... Last clear night was about three weeks ago and after that has been snowing regularly. Here in southern Finland is now over 80cm of snow.

This time I changed my Meade's focal reducer to Celestron's f/6.3 which has much greater back focus. I put the distance to 105mm which gives me 1325mm of focal length (pinpoint) and an f/6.5 scope. And no problems with OAG picture anymore, great!!

This faintish (mag 9,5) galaxy can be found in constellation Coma Berenices and is about 20 million light years away.

Picture is taken with Celestron's C8 SCT f/6.5 and QHY9.

Exposure: Luminance 9*10min (bin1*1) and colors 8*5min (bin2*2).