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The Messier Objects Using an ED80, 


            Kurt Zeppetello

The Messier Objects Using an ED80

Technical card

Basic astrometry details job: 1935591

Resolution: 17000x11000

Locations: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, Connecticut, United States; CSP-25 (CT Star Party), Goshen, Connecticut, United States; Boothe Memorial Park, Stratford , Connecticut, None; The Cemetery, Monroe, Connecticut, None

Data source: Backyard


Many star catalogs were in existence since the Babylonian star catalog came out in 1800 BC, however, none these catalogs focused on other objects. The Messier Catalog, first introduced in 1771 AD, maybe the first astronomical catalog of astronomical objects that focuses on nebulae and other oddities. Interestingly, French astronomer, Charles Messier whom the catalog is named after, made the catalog as a list of what not to look for as he was interested in searching for comets. He began his life-long search for comets early on in his career sparked in part by Halley's comet. He would eventually discover 15 of them. While searching for comets he began keeping a journal of astronomical objects such as nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters which could resemble a comet through a small telescope (source: and wikipedia).

This entire image is 17000 by 11000 pixels (17 inches by 11 inches) so it should be printable as a small poster. Note: I have not tried to print it yet. Each individual image is 1200 pixels by 857 pixels (1.2 inches by 0.857 inches) and with a resolution set at 1000 pixels. You should be able to zoom in and still maintain a certain amount of high resolution.

Making this poster was a very tedious and time consuming operation for me as I am not a graphics person or photographer by training. I created in Photoshop and learned plenty of new PS actions along the way. I had to resize everyone of my images in order to make this image. I was horrified opening some of these images which were processed years ago and seeing how bad I processed them. At the recommendation of Gary Imm (, I have equalized the background to roughly the same shade of black. Some of my older images were so bad I had to start from scratch. The image is huge and the original PS - PSD file was over four GB (my computer has only 6 GB of RAM) when I only had 30 images uploaded so I save it as a PDF file which was 10x smaller but I was still able to keep it layered. It is still huge at 911 MB and takes 5 minutes to open 15 minutes to save edits. I have various JPEG versions which range from 90 MB to 5.5 MB. The 5.5 MB version looks as good as the 90 MB version on a cursory review.

All of these images were taken using the same Orion ED80 80mm Apochromatic Refractor Telescope and Canon T3i/600D camera. This setup works well for large objects such as the Orion Nebula but not so well for very small objects like small globular clusters or far away galaxies. Because of this, I had my limits as to how far I could enlarge objects without sacrificing resolution so they are not to scale. For an interesting comparison Gary Imm made two versions of his catalog: 1) not to scale and 2) to scale (

Note: A higher quality image can be viewed and downloaded from the following site:
Image (

Also a smaller file size image (3.38 MB) can be found at:



Kurt Zeppetello
License: None (All rights reserved)


The Messier Objects Using an ED80, 


            Kurt Zeppetello