5/11/2019 Two Galaxies

It took me a week to successfully process these but here are two galaxies – M81 (Bode’s Galaxy) and M82 (the Cigar Galaxy) – I shot Friday the 5th up at the River Ridge Observatory. 11″ SCT at f/6.3 on CGEM-DX mount. Each is made from 30 30 second images auto-stacked in SharpCap. I had a lot of difficulty processing them, nothing that experience won’t fix I’m sure. Each is cropped. so the relative sizes here may not reflect how they are in real life. Especially visible in M81 are vignetting and some dust motes so I need to start taking flats I guess. Dark frames are easy of course, flat frames not as much but needed anyway.

4/26/2019 Globular Cluster M3

Here’s a picture of Messier 3 (M3) in the constellation of Canes Venatici. Taken last night with my 11″ SCT set at f/6.3 at the River Ridge Observatory. If you are familiar with the stars Arcturus (4th brightest in the sky) and Cor Caroli (Alpha Canes Venatici) this lies almost exactly halfway between them and is an easy target with binoculars. M3 is a globular cluster of about 500,000 stars about 34,000 light years from here.
Come to National Astronomy Day at Pinnacle Mountain State Park on May 11 and you might see it for yourself. Click on the image to see it full size.

1/27/2019 NGC 891



Above is a picture of the edge on spiral galaxy known as NGC 891 in Andromeda, discovered by William Herschel perhaps the greatest astronomer ever. I took this Sunday evening at the River Ridge Observatory with my 11″ SCT on a CGEM DX mount and my Canon EOS T5. This is a composite of six 60 second images and my paltry Photoshop skills. I framed the shot to get the other little edge on spiral on the left. I don’t know it’s designation yet. There is also a a fuzzy above it about a third the way from the top.

Below my friend Don Walters imported the picture into PixInsight and ran a script to identify several galaxies. I had spotted three counting the big one, he found eight more. Looks like a star chart with those lines and designations.