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Contains:  M 82, NGC 3034, M 81, Bode's nebulae, NGC 3031
Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
M81, M82 through the IFN, 


            Daniele Malleo
M81, M82 through the IFN

Technical card

Resolution: 2219x2219 job: 164481

RA center: 9h 54' 49"

DEC center: +69° 18' 25"

Pixel scale: 1.600 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 87.834 degrees

Field radius: 0.697

Locations: Lake Sonoma, Healdsburg, CA, United States


[Description adapted from NASA APOD:
Large galaxies and faint nebulae highlight this deep image of the M81 Group of galaxies. First and foremost is the grand design spiral galaxy M81, the largest galaxy visible in the image. M81 is gravitationally interacting with M82, a big galaxy with an unusual halo of filamentary red-glowing gas. Around the image many other galaxies from the M81 Group of galaxies can be seen. Together with other galaxy congregates including our Local Group of galaxies and the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, the M81 Group is part of the expansive Virgo Supercluster of Galaxies. This whole galaxy menagerie is seen through the faint glow of an Integrated Flux Nebula, a little studied complex of diffuse gas and dust clouds in our Milky Way Galaxy.]

Last Saturday, Jan 4, I finally got to do some astrophotography away from my backyard after almost three months.
I set up at Lake Sonoma, CA and managed to squeeze in about 11 hours of imaging time.
The image above is the result of stacking:

20 x 6m each (R,G,B)
28 x 10m L

On the following night I set up in my light polluted backyard and acquired some Ha to punch up the star forming regions in M82 and the filaments in M81.

I only added:

8 x 30m Ha

Total Exposure Time: ~15 hours.

Main Camera: QSI 583 WSG
Guide Camera: SXV Lodestar (on OAG)
Mount: Astro-Physics Mach 1
Scope: Explore Scientific 102 ED
Effective focal length: 698 mm
Image Aquisition software MaximDL
Registed, Calibrated and Stacked in MaximDL
Post Processed with PixInsight 1.8 and Photoshop CS6

(RA, Dec) center: (148.709186455, 69.2845326306) degrees
Orientation: 0.72 deg E of N

I can honestly say that I would have been happier exposing one more night.
This was my first time processing M81/M82 looking to extract some IFN nebulosity, and (lots) more subs would have made the job much easier and less painful.
It took me considerably more hours to process this image than to acquire it.

Still, I think the noise that comes through is tolerable and I hope I haven't gone overboard - though I'm always open to constructive criticism.



Daniele Malleo
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


M81, M82 through the IFN, 


            Daniele Malleo