Wednesday, April 14, 2010

M51 Whirlpool Galaxy with the Big Scope

M51 is a nearby galaxy undergoing a close pass with a smaller neighbor. The smaller galaxy is being ripped apart by the tidal forces generated by the encounter.

I took this photo of Messier 51, the Whirlpool Galaxy using my biggest telescope, the Celestron 9.25" inch Schmidt-Cassegrain and my Canon 300D DSLR. It is a median stacked composite of five 10 minute images. It is a little grainy, and the stars are a bit wonky because the wind was blowing. Overall I am pleased with the color it captured. I had planned to capture more than just five images, to reduce the graininess, but a windstorm kicked up and thwarted my plans.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

M100 - Two Armed Spiral in Coma Cluster.

M100 is a spiral galaxy near Coma Berenices. It sits amongst a vast cloud of nearby galaxies, in a very rich section of the sky. It is considered a classic spiral, and has a very bright core. In a telescope, it almost looks like a star with a hazy patch around it. It known for producing at least two well known Supernovae over the last decade or so.

I took this with my Canon 300D DSLR using my big C9 and a .63 reducer. It is 7 eight minute images, more or less. The wind was giving me problems, so the stars are not perfect. I eventually gave up and went inside. Wind is awful to fight against - you can't win.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

M94 - The Eye in the Sky

I shot this picture of Messier 94 with my Canon DSLR and my big 9 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain scope. This galaxy is considered an active galaxy, and has a very violent nucleus. It is theorized to hold a super-massive black hole. It is very dusty, and the collapse of the dust into the nucleus is thought to be producing an outburst of star formation, called a "Starburst". The faint glowing cloud surrounding it is a very dim halo of stars, offset from the central arms and "starburst" ring. The whole effect makes it appear similar to an "eye" floating in space.

This image is a compilation of nearly 2 hours worth of images.

Monday, April 5, 2010

NGC 3627 - The Cheeseburger Galaxy

This galaxy is part of the "Leo Trio" of Spring galaxies situated in close proximity to one another. This is a close up with my Orion CCD, shot throught the C9.25 telescope. It is 6 ten minute images shot at F 6.3.

This galaxy is also known as the "Cheeseburger Galaxy" due to the slight resemblance. It is actually a spiral galaxy with a vast dusty halo seen edgewise.