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Contains:  M 82, Bode's nebulae, NGC 3034

Image of the day 03/07/2018

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    M82, The Cigar Galaxy, 





    
        

            John Hayes
    M82, The Cigar Galaxy

    M82, The Cigar Galaxy

    Technical card

    Resolution: 5007x5007

    Dates:Jan. 12, 2018Feb. 12, 2018Feb. 22, 2018Feb. 27, 2018

    Frames:
    16x1200" -35C
    Astrodon B Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 14x1200" -35C bin 1x1
    Astrodon Ha, 5nm: 21x1200" -35C bin 1x1
    Astrodon Red Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 21x1200" -35C bin 1x1

    Integration: 24.0 hours

    Darks: ~15

    Flats: ~15

    Avg. Moon age: 17.58 days

    Avg. Moon phase: 40.03%

    Mean SQM: 21.80

    Mean FWHM: 2.27

    Astrometry.net job: 1948125

    RA center: 148.967 degrees

    DEC center: 69.686 degrees

    Pixel scale: 0.239 arcsec/pixel

    Orientation: 179.524 degrees

    Field radius: 0.235 degrees

    Locations: Deep Sky West, Rowe, NM, United States

    Description

    With galaxy season just around the corner, I thought that I'd warm up with another try at M82. The last time I imaged it was with a DSLR a couple of years ago so I wanted to see if I could get a better result. Little did I suspect that it would be a hard fought battle. For those who think that remote imaging makes everything easy, guess again. Sure the skies can be very dark, but there's a lot more to it than that! I ran into wind, poor seeing, many nights with a frosted over corrector plate, the return of the moon, and a bunch of problems with my scope that turned this session into an epic battle. I haven't added up all of the time but I've probably spent around 150 hours with the scope pointed at this object. Since I recently replaced the computer that operates my scope, my system now sometimes hangs after only a few subs are collected making my overall imaging efficiency very low. The system seems to know when the seeing is the best because I lost a lot of really good data when the system would hang shortly after I stopped monitoring it to get some sleep. I'm tearing my hair out to find the problem but that's another story.

    M82 is one of my favorite galaxies because it's big, it's bright, and there's a lot going on in it. It sits at a distance of about 12 MLy and it's about 5 times more luminous than the Milky Way. It is called a star burst galaxy because it has a core that is forming stars at a rate 10x faster than in our own galaxy.

    This is an image composed of RGB data along with 7 hours worth of Ha data to help show the central Hydrogen burst region. I drizzled the data to help improve detail. Drizzling helps a little but it's not a dramatic improvement. The C14 does a pretty good job, but I'd love to have a go at M82 with a larger scope just to pick up more detail. Alternatively, it would be nice to have conditions that would allow FWHM data below 2". As it turned out, I had to set the threshold at 2.5" just to get enough data in the prevailing conditions. One thing is very cool about this image: There are small faint galaxies visible absolutely everywhere! There is even a galaxy cluster in one part of the frame--visible near the edge of the frame at about 8:00 in the wide crop (Rev A.) These are most visible in the red channel so they are likely quite distant.

    As always, C&C is more than welcome so fire away.
    John

    Comments

    Author

    jhayes_tucson
    John Hayes
    License: None (All rights reserved)
    251421
    Like

    Revisions

      M82, The Cigar Galaxy, 





    
        

            John Hayes
      Original
      M82, The Cigar Galaxy, 





    
        

            John Hayes
      B
      M82, The Cigar Galaxy, 





    
        

            John Hayes
      C
    • Final
      M82, The Cigar Galaxy, 





    
        

            John Hayes
      D

    B

    Tighter Crop

    C

    Fixed background

    D

    Reprocess

    Sky plot

    Sky plot

    Histogram

    M82, The Cigar Galaxy, 





    
        

            John Hayes

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