Celestial hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Ursa Major (UMa)  ·  Contains:  M 109  ·  NGC 3953  ·  NGC 3992  ·  Phecda (γUMa)  ·  The star Phad
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M109 & Vicinity in LRGB, Ben Koltenbah
M109 & Vicinity in LRGB
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M109 & Vicinity in LRGB

Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
M109 & Vicinity in LRGB, Ben Koltenbah
M109 & Vicinity in LRGB
Powered byPixInsight

M109 & Vicinity in LRGB

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Description

M109 is located in Ursa Major near Phecda (Phad, Gamma Ursae Majoris), which forms the lower left star of the big dipper's dipper, or if you prefer, the lower left star of the plough's plough-part. This is a wide FOV from a Takahashi FSQ-106EDX4 and FLI ML16200. I knew that the scene would be overwhelmed by Phecda, but I was interested in how it would turn out. I don't recall working on a serious image project that contained such a bright star. It is magnitude 2.438, located 83.2ly from the Sun. It is an A0 Ve star, 2.6 times the mass of and three times the radius of the Sun, and is estimated to be about 300 million years old. A0 means it is indeed a light blue color, but in my image this blue is greatly and psychedelically enhanced. Further, it is an astrometric binary where the companion is a K star 0.79 times the mass of the Sun with orbital period of 20.5 years about the barycenter.

M109 is a barred spiral, 83.5mly away, which means it is 1,000,000 times farther away than Phecda. It has magnitude 10.6, 7.6 by 4.7 arcmin, linear diameter of 180,000ly. The other relatively large galaxy of the scene below and to the right is NGC3953, which is also a barred spiral, with magnitude 10.8. I find it most interesting that Messier did not give it a designation as it is almost as big and bright as M109. NGC3953 and many of the multitude of neighboring galaxies are part of the M109 Group, which consists of about 50 galaxies.

I am dealing with a persistent background pattern issue, a result of which compels me to darken the background more than I would normally wish to, but I have hopes this issue will be resolved soon. In the meantime I can partially mitigate the background with obscene overuse of DBE in PI. Processing this image I found that Deconvolution didn't work well, so this image just has several stages of noise reduction and a final UnmaskSharp, where I mask protected the stars so that they wouldn't be sharpened. I also applied CurvesTransformation to enhance the color, but hopefully not too much.

Overall I'm pleased with the results, and even if the bright, blue blob of Phecda is not aesthetically pleasing, it is at least an interesting effect. I will post the image showing all the galaxy annotations as that's the most fun part for me, and I'll also post a cropped version that isolates the two larger galaxies of the scene.

Thank you for your attention. Your comments and criticisms are always welcome.

Comments

Revisions

  • M109 & Vicinity in LRGB, Ben Koltenbah
    Original
  • M109 & Vicinity in LRGB, Ben Koltenbah
    B
  • M109 & Vicinity in LRGB, Ben Koltenbah
    C
  • M109 & Vicinity in LRGB, Ben Koltenbah
    D
  • M109 & Vicinity in LRGB, Ben Koltenbah
    E
  • Final
    M109 & Vicinity in LRGB, Ben Koltenbah
    F

B

Description: Synthetic Luminance Channel

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C

Description: Inverted Luminance Image

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D

Description: Galaxy Annotated Image

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E

Description: Star Annotated Image

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F

Description: Cropped and Rotated LRGB and Annotation

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M109 & Vicinity in LRGB, Ben Koltenbah

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