Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Black Eye Galaxy (a.k.a. M64)

M64, the Black Eye Galaxy, is the second deep sky image I took with the new concrete pier.  The image has a total exposure of 1 hr and 45 minutes collected over two nights.  It took me while find the object on the first night so I lost a lot of time.  What really helped in locating it second night was looking at an image by Fred Espenak at Astropixels.com.   His image was very similar to what I was seeing and the orientation matched up pretty well.  His Field of View was 1.70 deg by 2.56 deg, thus I must have a similar FOV.  The pier held the alignment really well even though I removed the mount from the pier.  I hope to have the skyshed built soon so I no longer have to break down after each imaging session.

The galaxy is located in the Coma Berenices Constellation and is 24 million light years from Earth and contains a dark band of dust that absorbs light which gives it the "black eye" appearance.

Wide Field Image

First Crop

Second Crop - Closeup Image 

M64, Black Eye Galaxy
Location: Monroe, CT
Date/Time: 5/31/16 11:00 pm
Date/Time: 5/25/16 11:00 pm
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo Telescope Mount
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to and Orion Short Tube 80mm
Exposure: 70 x 90 sec (1.75 hrs)
ISO: 800
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom

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