Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Canes Venatici (CVn)  ·  Contains:  M 94  ·  NGC 4736

Image of the day 05/24/2022

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    M94 - First Light in a New Home, 



    
        

            Michael & Jon Norman
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    M94 - First Light in a New Home

    Image of the day 05/24/2022

    Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
      M94 - First Light in a New Home, 



    
        

            Michael & Jon Norman
      Powered byPixInsight

      M94 - First Light in a New Home

      Imaging Telescopes Or Lenses
      Planewave CDK 17
      Imaging Cameras
      QHYCCD QHY600PH M
      Mounts
      PlaneWave Instruments L 500
      Filters
      Antlia B · Antlia R · Antlia L · Antlia G
      Accessories
      MoonLite NiteCrawler WR35 · Optec Sagitta OAG · Pegasus Astro Pocket Powerbox Pro · QHYCCD CFW3-XL 9 Position
      Software
      Starkeeper.it Voyager
      Guiding Cameras
      QHYCCD 174M

      Acquisition details

      Dates:
      May 14, 2022
      Frames:
      Antlia B: 48x300" (4h) (gain: 0.00) -10°C bin 1x1
      Antlia G: 48x300" (4h) (gain: 0.00) -10°C bin 1x1
      Antlia L: 125x300" (10h 25') (gain: 0.00) -10°C bin 1x1
      Antlia R: 48x300" (4h) (gain: 0.00) -10°C bin 1x1
      Integration:
      22h 25'
      Darks:
      20
      Flats:
      20
      Flat darks:
      20
      Avg. Moon age:
      12.88 days
      Avg. Moon phase:
      96.04%
      Bortle Dark-Sky Scale:
      2.00
      Mean FWHM:
      1.88

      RA center: 12h50m51s.950

      DEC center: +41°0717.95

      Pixel scale: 0.263 arcsec/pixel

      Orientation: 89.650 degrees

      Field radius: 0.420 degrees

      WCS transformation: thin plate spline

      More info:Open 

      Resolution: 9576x6388

      Locations: Skies Away Remote Observatory, Bradley, CA, United States

      Data source: Own remote observatory

      Remote source: Non-commercial independent facility

      Description

      M94 is a really interesting spiral galaxy, presenting both an inner and outer ring structure.  Research indicates that the outer ring is less of a ring and more a complex set of spirals but - these cannot be seen under the visual spectrum that we image with.  A zoom through M94 reinforces that the majority of the stellar mass is contained within the inner ring structure but little blue and magenta regions can be found scattered periodically through the outer ring.   

      Great to finally have the CDK17 back up in action - churning out better data than it ever has!   The scope initially resided in the high desert of New Mexico but - conditions proved too challenging to allow the scope to perform to its maximum.  At 3000mm focal length with a native sampling of 0.26”, the system demonstrates extraordinary sensitivity to wind and seeing.  The Southwest sure is dark but the wind proved all too much for the system.  This left us with two realistic options.  Give up on the Northern hemisphere and head to Chile or give the stable skies of central California a try.  At the end of the day, we decided that there’s just too many targets that deserve a shot in the Northern hemisphere - West we went.  

      Michael took a week off work, Jon used his spring break.  Over the course of 9 days, equipment was crated, put into a U-Haul, driven 16 hours across the desert, and installed in our new hosting site out on the central coast of California.  All things considered, the move went as smoothly as one could expect.  Several hundred zip-ties and a handful of sugar-free Monster Energys later, the system was finally ready to point skywards.  True to their advertising, the conditions at Skies Away Remote Observatories are spectacular.  While collimating the OTA, it was incredible to watch the stability of the Frenel rings.  Telemetry frequently indicates Bortle 1 skies and the image data backs that up.  Seeing periodically dips below 1” with virtually no wind.  We’re thrilled to be one of the early clients out at SARO and look forward to a long future of productive imaging.  The next few weeks will be spent slowly dialing in our server network for data storage and getting our new TOA150 up and running!

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      M94 - First Light in a New Home, 



    
        

            Michael & Jon Norman

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