Friday, May 12, 2017

M104 - The Sombrero Galaxy

Well the Sombrero Galaxy (M104 or NGC 4594) was the last image to be processed from images I took over two weeks ago.  Clouds and the moon have temporally put my deep sky imaging on hold.

Sombrero Galaxy is an spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo located 31 million light-years from Earth.  Smaller than the Milky Way, M104 has a diameter of approximately 50,000 light-years and has a bright nucleus. A prominent dark dust lane and a central bulge give this galaxy the appearance of a sombrero.

I am really liking the Synthetic Flat-Layer gradient removal method described by Trevor Jones from AstroBackyard to cleanup the gradients.  Since I do not use flats yet, my stacked image is loaded with vignetting and gradients.  I used to spend an enormous amount of time trying to make a decent image, however, this new method described by Trevor has cut my time in half and produces better results.  Of course using flats will make a world of difference as well but I have not been able to do it properly yet.  I need to see a video of somebody actually doing it in the field.

This represents number 76 on my catalog of Messier objects, only 34 remain.


Wide Field

M104 - The Sombrero Galaxy
Location: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, CT
Date: 4-29-17
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: 54 x 90s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 17 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools, StarTools.

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