Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Ursa Major (UMa)  ·  Contains:  Bode's Galaxy  ·  Cigar Galaxy  ·  M 81  ·  M 82  ·  NGC 3031  ·  NGC 3034  ·  NGC 3077
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Ursa Major Triplet - M82 M81 NGC3077 - New Processing - OSC HaRGB, 


            Bradley Watson
Ursa Major Triplet - M82 M81 NGC3077 - New Processing - OSC HaRGB
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Ursa Major Triplet - M82 M81 NGC3077 - New Processing - OSC HaRGB

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Vixen ED80Sf

Imaging cameras: ToupTek ATR3 16000 KMA

Mounts: Sky-Watcher Skywatcher EQ5 Pro

Guiding telescopes or lenses: APM Image Master 50/205

Guiding cameras: ToupTek GCMOS1200KBM ToupTek

Focal reducers: Skywatcher 0.85x Reducer & Flattener 0.85x Focal Reducer/Corrector

Software: Siril  ·  Cartes du Ciel Carte du Ciel  ·  EQMOD EQASCOM  ·  Sharcap Pro 3.2  ·  Astro Pixel Processor APP  ·  NINA - Nighttime Imaging ‘N’ Astronomy  ·  PHD  ·  GIMP 2

Filters: Optolong L-eNhance 2" L enhance 2"  ·  IDAS LPS-D1 2"

Accessory: ZWO EAF Focuser  ·  Pegasus Astro PowerBox

Dates:Feb. 22, 2021Feb. 26, 2021Feb. 28, 2021March 3, 2021

Optolong L-eNhance 2" L enhance 2": 48x300" (gain: 510.00) -10C bin 1x1
IDAS LPS-D1 2": 76x300" (gain: 510.00) -10C bin 1x1

Integration: 10.3 hours

Avg. Moon age: 14.77 days

Avg. Moon phase: 87.59%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 6.75

Mean SQM: 18.83

Temperature: -6.50

Basic astrometry details

Astrometry.net job: 4286694

RA center: 9h 57' 58"

DEC center: +69° 13' 37"

Pixel scale: 1.506 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 281.954 degrees

Field radius: 0.858 degrees

Resolution: 3196x2569

Locations: Home Observatory, Limhamn, Sweden

Data source: Backyard


Have been wanting to image this triplet for a long time now. M81 was the first galaxy I imaged ever and was with my SkyWatcher Mak 127 super slow telescope and an unsuitable pixel scale for my mount. I wanted to improve on this image.

This has been an interesting experience with some data collected in a forest in the middle of Sweden, Bortle 3 sky, but the majority from my garden a bortle 8 sky. I have always wanted to capture the IFN but its just not possible from my backyard so I concentrated on a clean background...... and yes Holmbergs IX is gone I am afraid.
As this trio was so high in the sky at points I had a few issues with my meridian flips, where once the flip had occurred it wasn't a 180 degree flip so there was a lot of rotation from one side of the flip to the other, I had to crop about 40% of the image as result.

Excitingly this has been the first time I have been able to use my Optolong L-enhance in anger. I used APP to extract the Ha from my Optolong L-enhance data and recombined it with the RGB data split from colour data captured with the LDAS LP1 filter. With so little Ha data, surprisingly the Ha regions had really come forth from the darkness. There are a lot of possibilities for these OSC dual and tri band filters. Exciting stuff with my entry into the experiences of processing mono data.

Processing Software used:
Siril - Background Extraction, SCNR, Photometric Colour Calibration, Doconvolution (bt didnt like the result)
APP - Stacking, Registration, Normalisation, RGB extraction, Ha Extraction, HaRGB recombination, light pollution removal
GIMP - Cosmetic touch-ups, format conversion

This has been a lot of fun! Next time I will chase the IFN.