Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Contains:  M 61  ·  M61  ·  NGC 4292  ·  NGC 4301  ·  NGC 4303  ·  NGC4292  ·  NGC4301
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M61 and SN 2020jfo, LRGB, 15 May 2020, 


            David Dearden
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M61 and SN 2020jfo, LRGB, 15 May 2020

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Astro-Tech AT8IN

Imaging cameras: ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool

Mounts: Skywatcher NEQ-6 Pro Synscan

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Astro-Tech AT8IN

Guiding cameras: ZWO AS120MM-Mini

Focal reducers: High Point Scientific Coma Corrector Photo & Visual For Netwonian Telescopes 2"

Software: DeepSkyStacker  ·  Noel Carboni's Astro Tools for PhotoShop  ·  StarTools  ·  AstroPlanner  ·  PHD2 Guiding  ·  Sequence Generator Pro  ·  Nebulosity  ·  EQASCOM  ·  photoshop

Filters: ZWO Red 31 mm  ·  ZWO Luminance 31 mm  ·  ZWO Green 31 mm  ·  ZWO Blue 31 mm

Accessory: Orion Thin Off Axis Guider (TOAG)  ·  Robert Brown's Arduino ASCOM Focuser Pro DIY  ·  ZWO EFW filter wheel

Dates:May 15, 2020May 16, 2020

ZWO Blue 31 mm: 18x120" (gain: 139.00) -20C bin 1x1
ZWO Green 31 mm: 16x120" (gain: 139.00) -20C bin 1x1
ZWO Luminance 31 mm: 40x180" (gain: 139.00) -20C bin 1x1
ZWO Red 31 mm: 16x120" (gain: 139.00) -20C bin 1x1

Integration: 3.7 hours

Avg. Moon age: 23.43 days

Avg. Moon phase: 36.59%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 5.00

Astrometry.net job: 3520418

RA center: 12h 21' 58"

DEC center: +4° 28' 27"

Pixel scale: 1.719 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 2.667 degrees

Field radius: 0.695 degrees

Resolution: 2308x1780

Locations: Mapleton Lateral Observatory, Mapleton, Utah, United States

Data source: Backyard


52.5 ± 2.3 Mly

Having seen Victor Van Puyenbroek’s nice image of M61 showing supernova SN 2020jfo, I could not resist trying this target now that the clouds have somewhat dispersed and the Moon has waned a bit. It’s already a little late in the season to allow a lot of integration in one night, so I didn’t get as much as I normally try for. Although I have not seen any light curves for this Type II supernova, to my eye it looks like it might be starting to fade a little. Lots of galaxies in the background, as should not be surprising given this is a view of part of the Virgo Cluster. This is a far better image than my last previous attempt, 5 years ago.

Date: 15-16 May 2020
Subject: M61, “Swelling Spiral” Galaxy, with SN 2020jfo
Scope: AT8IN+High Point Scientific Coma Corrector
Filters: ZWO 31 mm diameter unmounted L, R, G, B
Mount: EQ-6 (EQMOD 2.000j)+PEC
Guiding: Orion Thin Off-axis Guider + ASI120MM-mini +PHD 2.6.7 (Win 10 ASCOM)
Camera: ASI1600MM-Cool, -20 °C, Gain 139 Offset 21
Acquisition: Sequence Generator Pro
Exposure: 40x180 L, 16x120 R, 16x120 G, 18x120 B
Stacking: Deep Sky Stacker 4.2.3 (64-bit) dark+flat+bias, κ-σ stacking with κ = 1.5
Processing: StarTools 1.6.394RC: Combined L, R, G, & B in StarTools, accounting for exposure times to add in synthetic luminance. Software binned 2x2, cropped, vignette wiped, developed, HDR (reveal DSO core), deconvolution, color with large saturation enhancement, untrack denoised (grain elimination strategy 1). Several cycles of layer-masked levels to get rid of an uncorrected dust ring, and a little fine levels adjustment. AstroFrame.



David Dearden
License: None (All rights reserved)


  • Final
    M61 and SN 2020jfo, LRGB, 15 May 2020, 


            David Dearden
  • M61 and SN 2020jfo, LRGB, 15 May 2020, 


            David Dearden
  • M61 and SN 2020jfo, LRGB, 15 May 2020, 


            David Dearden


Description: Same image, with SN 2020jfo marked


Description: Same data but with “optimize soft,” more deconvolution, more saturation, and some background correction. This might be better than the original if you don’t look too close.

Sky plot

Sky plot


M61 and SN 2020jfo, LRGB, 15 May 2020, 


            David Dearden