This large galaxy is located in the northern sky, in the constellation of Ursa Major. It is quite bright, and can be seen with the naked eye on a dark night. It is the major member of a large group of smaller galaxies all orbiting each-other. This is about 1 1/2 hours worth of images shot with the big 9 1/4" scope and my DSLR.
I shot this photo of Messier 101 last night using the big 9.25" scope. M101 is a large spiral, with a distorted arm. To the upper left, out of the frame, is a smaller galaxy that is more than likely the cause of this distortion. M101 can be seen with the naked eye on a good dark night. The photo came out pretty good even though a stiff breeze was blowing and bumping the camera all around. It was shot using my Canon 300D and a .63 focal reducer. 13 images of 8 minute duration median stacked.
All images on this site were taken at my observatory, Skunky Acres Observatory, located at 7000 feet above sea level, high in the mountains of New Mexico. Skunky Acres gets its name from the prodigious skunk levels of the surrounding area (it was either that or Skunkapalooza).
Equipment roster: 8" F7 Planetary Newtonian Reflector 8" F4.5 Newtonian Reflector 6" Schmidt-Cassegrain (piggyback on 100mm achro) 9.25" Schmidt Cassegrain 100mm F6 Achromatic Refractor 80mm F6 Stellarvue Nighthawk II Refractor SBIG ST7 CCD DSI Pro CCD Orion Starshoot DSCI Canon 300D DSLR Lots of junky guide-scopes. and various other bits...
Note: Please adjust the brightness and contrast on your monitor so that you see each bar of the color bar as a distinct shade. The darkest one should be Black (not dark gray), the lightest White.
It is critical that your monitor be adjusted properly in order to see these images correctly.
Note: Ocasionally I run images and highlight views of subjects which have a scientifically controversial nature. I do not espouse any of these ideas over the more scientifically accepted theories. I feel that a little controversy breeds healthier discussion.