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Contains:  Black-eye galaxy, M 64, NGC 4826
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M64 - The Black Eye Galaxy, 


            Rowland Archer
M64 - The Black Eye Galaxy
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M64 - The Black Eye Galaxy

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Sky-Watcher Esprit 120

Imaging cameras: ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool

Mounts: iOptron CEM 60

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion StarShoot Autoguider

Guiding cameras: Orion Starshoot Autoguider Pro

Focal reducers: Sky-Watcher Field Flattener Esprit 120

Software: Astro Pixel Processor  · VOYAGER  ·  PixInsight 1.8 Ripley

Filters: ZWO Ha 1.25" 7nm

Accessory: ZWO 8x 1.25" EFW  ·  Moonlite Nitecrawler 2.5 Nitecrawler 2.5 Focuser  ·  Alnitak Astro Flip-Flat Flip-Flat

Dates:Feb. 24, 2019

ZWO B 1.25": 166x60" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
ZWO G 1.25": 512x60" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
ZWO Ha 1.25" 7nm: 109x300" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
ZWO L 1.25": 733x30" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
ZWO R 1.25": 470x60" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1

Integration: 34.3 hours

Avg. Moon age: 20.16 days

Avg. Moon phase: 70.50%

Basic astrometry details job: 2613442

RA center: 12h 56' 42"

DEC center: +21° 40' 37"

Pixel scale: 0.921 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 153.718 degrees

Field radius: 0.213 degrees

Resolution: 1368x951

Locations: Home Observatory, Wake Forest, NC, United States

Data source: Backyard


Here's my M64, the Black Eye Galaxy, 34 hours of data acquired between Feb 24 and Mar 18, 2019 over seven nights from my 19.5 SQM yard in Wake Forest, NC. Gear was the Esprit 120 refractor, iOptron CEM60 mount, ASI1600MM-Cool camera with ZWO LRGB and Ha filters.

I took several runs at this data - processing it three times, getting a little more detail in the galaxy core with each attempt. One try gave me better color, another try gave better detail, so I pulled the luminance from the detailed version and combined it with the one whose color I preferred.

Although we all know processing is important, it was a very interesting lesson on how radically different the outcome can be with different processing steps. I wouldn't say either was right or wrong - they just ended up emphasizing different elements of the data.

With my current setup, acquisition is highly automated using Voyager, so processing is where I spend 90% of my time.

Comments & critique always welcome.




Rowland Archer
License: None (All rights reserved)


  • M64 - The Black Eye Galaxy, 


            Rowland Archer
  • Final
    M64 - The Black Eye Galaxy, 


            Rowland Archer


Description: 1:1 zoom before screenshot

Sky plot

Sky plot


M64 - The Black Eye Galaxy, 


            Rowland Archer