Wednesday, April 12, 2017

M81 and M82 revisited!

This is my second go around with these objects.  The first time I shot these was almost two years ago when my processing skill were much more limited, not only that, I only collected 33 minutes of data. This time around I collected 102 minutes of data with the modified camera.  Of course I would have liked to get more time but M81 and M82 only are visible for 35 minute windows from my dedicated concrete pier at the Happy Frog so that 102 minutes is over the course of four nights.  I hate to take the scope off the pier since it perfectly set but until I get another mount I will have to for some objects.

Messier 81 (a.k.a. NGC 3031 or Bode's Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major.  It was discovered by Johann Elert Bode on December 31, 1774 and therefore, is sometimes referred to as "Bode's Galaxy".  Messier 82 (also known as NGC 3034, Cigar Galaxy or M82) is a galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major.  M82 is about five times more luminous than the whole Milky Way and has a center one hundred times more luminous than our galaxy's center.  In 2014, in studying M82, scientists discovered the brightest pulsar yet known (source: wikipedia).

Although this will not help my overall Messier count since I captured it already, I am much happier
with the results this time around.


The Pair

M81 - Bode's Galaxy

M82 - Cigar Galaxy

M81 and M82
Location: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, CT
Date: 3-20-17, 3-22-17, 3-23-17, 3-29-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm
f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
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: 68 x 90s
ISO: 1600
Temp: -1.0 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools, StarTools.

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