Sunday, February 19, 2017

M50 - The Heart Shaped Cluster

Messier 50 (a.k.a. M50, the Heart-Shaped Cluster, and NGC 2323)  is an open cluster located in the constellation Monoceros.  The cluster lies at an approximate distance of 3,200 light years from Earth.  M50 (NGC 2323) occupies an area about half the size of the full Moon and can be found 9.5 degrees north-northeast of Sirius, the brightest star in the sky (source: Messier Objects).

I was able to get this image a couple days ago when the weather finally broke.  I only was able to get 23 minutes of usable data but it was enough.  This is my first image taken after I purchased an Orion 0.8 Focal Reducer for Refractors.  The focal reducer effectively makes it a faster scope by reducing the focal length from 600 mm to 480 mm giving a larger field of view and lowering the f-stop from f/7.5 to f/6.  This also represents my 54th Messier object captured with my system.

Wide Field


M50 - The Heart Shaped Cluster (NGC 2323)
Location: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, CT
Date/Time: 2-15-17, 11:45 pm
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Focal Length: 600mm
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo Telescope Mount
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 22-60s (22 min)
ISO: 1600
Temp: 0 C (32 F)
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools

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