M81 & M82 - Bode's and Cigar Galaxies

M81 (also known as Bode's Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. Its companion, M82 (also known as the Cigar Galaxy) is a nearby starburst galaxy also about 12 million light-years away.

13/3/2013
20x300sec Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias.
My latest attempt at processing my image of M13. My previous attempt showed only a small ball of stars but I have now managed in Photoshop CS3 to improve the outer stars and increased the overall size of the cluster. Once again I have converted all images to black and white to get the best out of it. There is about 2 hours of exposure in LRGB filters.
Hi, this is my latest attempt at imaging galaxies, M101 in this case. I had previously taken luminance and h-alpha images of this galaxy, so I decided to add some blue and green to the picture and came up with this. Usual gear (TV102, Baader filters, Lodestar guider on CGEM mount and Opticstar 145M-ice camera).
This is M97 taken in narrowband Baader filters: 30 mins OIII (green), 15 mins H-beta (blue), 15 mins H-alpha (red) and added to 30 mins Luminance (clear). Using a TV102, Opticstar145M-ice camera and guided by a Starlight Express Lodestar guider on a Celestron CGEM mount. The green shows the emissions of doubly ionised oxygen caused by the UV light from the central star.

Makarian's Chain

Makarian's Chain is a stretch of galaxies that forms part of the Virgo Cluster. It is called a chain because, when viewed from Earth, the galaxies lie along a smoothly curved line. Member galaxies include M84 and M86, plus many others.
A 2-panel mosaic.
Each panel 12x5min Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias.

M3 - Globular Cluster - 01 May 2013



Here is an image of M3, a Globular Cluster in Canes Venatici (not far from Arcturus!), discovered by Charles Messier in 1764. It contains an estimated half million stars and is around 33,900 light years away.
The image, taken last night, is a stack of 50 1-minute exposures at ISO800, with darks, flats and bias frames on a Canon EOS550d, stuck on my Skywatcher 8" newtonian with a coma corrector. The whole lot was guided using PHD and a Philips webcam.  In the space of an hour I had to scrap 5 images with Satellite trails through them, which is surprisingly high given the small amount of sky I was looking at!
Stacked using DeepSkyStacker and processed with CS5 following Bill's excellent Open-Cluster tutorial guide. I can probably do a better job of this image and will try again when I have more time to fully understand Bill's methods, but I'm pleased with it for now!

The dim Galaxy in the upper right of the image is NGC5263, a Mag 13.4 spiral.

M101 - Pinwheel Galaxy

The Pinwheel Galaxy (also known as NGC 5457) is a face-on spiral galaxy around 21 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. M101 is a relatively large galaxy. With a diameter of 170,000 light-years, it is seventy percent larger than the Milky Way, has a disk mass on the order of 100 billion solar masses and a small bulge of about 3 billion solar masses.

27/04/2013
40x300secs Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias
M97, the Owl Nebula in the Plough is a planetary nebula. The central star is ~1,630 light years distant and the blue colour probably results from H-beta emission lines. This image consists of 3x5-minute images taken in L, R, G, B Baader filters (1-hour total exposure) using an Opticstar-145M-ice camera (1.4 million pixels chip) on a Televue 102 refractor via MaximDL. Guided with a Starlight Express Lodestar guider camera. Final processing in MaximDL and Photoshop CS3.

PanStarrs TimeLapse 27th-28th April 2013

Panstarrs on video !  On April 27th-28th, 146 RAW DSLR images were captured using an 8" SCT on the pier at the WYAS Observatory. Collated in to a 15 second time lapse video, it shows the Panstarrs Comet moving across the sky. The comet was roughly 57° north-northwest of the Sun. in Cepheus, less than 1° east of the large emission nebula NGC 7822, also known as Cederblad 214. Because of its position, high in the northern sky, the comet will remain above the horizon all night for observers north of latitude 23° north.
(Video may not show / play on an iPad / MAC this is being resolved sorry for the inconvienence)
video