M13 Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

In my opinion, Messier 13 is the most beautiful globular cluster in our galaxy. Last time when I photographed this cluster, I used focal reducer (don’t ask me why), therefore I decided to recapture it with focal length 1060 mm. Small galaxy in upper right corner is called NGC 6209.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure55x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-06-07

M10 Globular Cluster

Messier 10 is a globular cluster located in constellation Ophiuchus. This cluster belongs to one of the closest to the Earth – the distance is “only” 14 300 light-years. It has visually many globular neighbors: M12 northwest, M14 east and M107 southwest.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure38x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-06-02

M12 Globular Cluster

Messier 12 is a globular cluster located in constellation Ophiuchus. The cluster is 15,700 light-years away from Earth and contains approximately 200,000 stars. There are another two globular clusters in the vicinity: M10 south-east and M14 east.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure32x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-06-01

M40 Double Star

Messier 40 is a double star located in constellation Ursa Major (in the middle of the picture). Charles Messier was searching for the nebula in this part of the sky, which was observed by Johannes Hevelius. He was unable to locate any nebulous object, but he found this double star and catalogued them under the number 40. Double star should be a system of two stars, which are bonded by the gravity, but the latest measurements demonstrated that these two stars are close to each other only visually and they are completely unrelated.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure40x120s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-06-01

M101 Pinwheel Galaxy

Messier 101 is a beautiful spiral galaxy, which can be located in constellation Ursa Major. If I look back to my older picture, I must smile, how I overdone the saturation and whole post-processing. Such beautiful galaxy deserves to be re-captured and processed again:

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure31x300s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-06-01

M102 Spindle Galaxy

Galactic season continues. After capturing M64 galaxy, I pointed my telescope to another one. Specifically to Messier 102 called Spindle Galaxy, which is a lenticular galaxy in constellation Draco. Afterwards I went to sleep and the telescope was collecting the photons coming from there. The light had to travel very long distance, because this galaxy is approximately 40 million light-years from Earth.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure55x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-05-24

M64 Black Eye Galaxy

Messier 64 is a galaxy, which can be located in constellation Coma Berenices. The name “Black Eye” or sometimes “Evil Eye” got from the central dark cloud, which blocks partially the light coming from there. This galaxy is relatively close to us – only 17 million light-year, which is significantly less compared to visually neighboring galaxies in constellation Virgo.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure24x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-05-23

M53 Globular Cluster

Messier 53 is a globular cluster located in constellation Coma Berenices. This cluster is quite far from galactic center of the Milky Way (60 000 light-year), which makes it to be located on the outer edge of our galaxy. However, it heading towards the center with speed approximately 63 km/s. The cluster contains 500 000 stars, but this cannot be verified by the photo I took, because it is 58 000 light-year from Earth and my telescope has very small aperture to resolve this kind of details.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure45x300s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-05-13

M87 Virgo A Galaxy

I came back from La Palma, disappointed by the weather. Surprisingly, back home was nice Moonless weather, so I took my telescope out and captured Messier 87, which is bright and super massive galaxy in constellation Virgo. It’s one of the largest elliptical galaxy in observable universe and makes the central sport in galactic cluster in Virgo. This galaxy contains a lot of globular clusters, approximately 12000. In comparison our Milky Way contains only 200.

I am really happy that I captured this galaxy this year, because quite recently was the first photo of a super massive black hole in M87 was captured. I think everybody got across the orange picture, which was an effort of many scientists.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-15°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure55x300s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-05-06

Chasing darkness on La Palma

All of my previous dark-sky expeditions were organized in summer-autumn part of the year. At this part of the year shines the galactic core of the Milky Way during the night (only if the sky is dark enough) and there are many deep space objects available. During my expedition to Milos I managed to capture huge part of the Messier catalogue. However, there are some deep space objects, which are badly visible from my home and which have to be captured in the spring. I was researching where can I spend few days, preferably somewhere south and even more preferably under dark skies. Googling yielded in brilliant idea – La Palma, Canary Islands. This island belongs to three most prominent spots on Earth for astronomy (together with Mauna Kea in Hawaii and European Southern Observatory in Chile). The observatory on La Palma is called Roque de los Muchachos and currently there is the largest optical, single aperture telescope on this Planet (The Gran Telescopio Canarias). The observatory is built on the highest mountain of the island at altitude nearly 2500 meters above the sea level. On the whole island there are strict rules for the street illumination, therefore the dark skies are not the privilege of the highest mountains, but nearly everywhere are the conditions great, maybe except two big towns – Santa Cruz de La Palma and Los Llanos. Dark sky is probably the same touristic attraction on La Palma like the beaches on Greek islands.


M68 Globular Cluster

Messier 68 is a globular cluster located in constellation Hydra. The cluster contains more than 100,000 stars and it is approximately 33,000 light-years away from Earth. The best time for observation is between March and July. Observers from Central Europe have disadvantage, because M68 doesn’t raise much above the horizon. Therefore this cluster was one of my primary targets on La Palma, where M68 is much better visible. However, the weather was bad and I only got 40 minutes between the clouds.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length630 mm
MountAvalon M-Zero
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure19x120s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-04-30

M93 Open Cluster

Messier 93 is an open cluster located in constellation Puppis and it is about 3400 light-year away from Earth. My previous attempt to capture this object was not so successful, because M93 doesn’t rise far from horizon in Central Europe. On La Palma is the situation different, but only if the weather allows it. I was partially lucky and a hole between the clouds appeared and I got 44 minutes opportunity to capture this cluster properly.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length630 mm
MountAvalon M-Zero
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure22x120s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-04-28

M83 Southern Pinwheel Galaxy

Messier 83 is a spiral galaxy located in constellation Hydra. It is one of the brightest and closest (15 million light-years) galaxies observable from Earth. On the other hand there are much brighter and closer galaxies, for example Andromeda is only 2.5 million light-years away and M33 Triangulum Galaxy is roughly 3 million light-years away.

Due to the fact that the M83 has very low southern declination (rises not far from horizon), thus it is very difficult to capture from light polluted Central Europe, I decided to take a trip to south. Specifically to La Palma (Canary Islands) and tried to photograph it from there. I had only one clear night out of ten, but together with M68 was this galaxy my primary target and I somehow managed. My plan was to capture more deep space objects, but the weather didn’t allow me.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length630 mm
MountAvalon M-Zero
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure87x300s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-04-25

M61 Galaxy

Spring offers the best conditions for photographing/observing of the galaxies. This is caused by the fact that the constellations Virgo, Leo and Coma Berenices are visible and there are galaxies anywhere you look. This year, I already captured M58 M88 M89 M90 M91 Galaxies, but there are still some galaxies missing, in order to finish Messier catalogue. One of them was M61 (upper left corner). This spiral galaxy is located in constellation Virgo, it has about the same size as our home galaxy Milky Way and it is approximately 52 light-year away from Earth.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length630 mm
MountAvalon M-Zero
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-15°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure74x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-04-06

M88 M91 Galaxies

Messier 88 (right) and Messier 91 are the spiral galaxies located between constellations Coma Berenices and Virgo. Both belong to the Virgo Cluster of galaxies and both are approximately 60 light-years away from Earth. The small galaxy at the very left is called NGC 4571.

Technical data:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length630 mm
MountAvalon M-Zero
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-15°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure47x300s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-03-30

NGC 2237 Rosette Nebula

Rosette Nebula is a giant cloud of hydrogen gas. The gas is ionized by the star cluster located in the middle and therefore emits the light. Circular shape and the color correspond to the name – the rose. The cluster in the middle can be observed even by using small telescope, but the nebulosity is very dim, therefore in order to see it, one would need perfectly dark sky and very large telescope with low magnification. It’s definitely easier to photograph the nebulosity. My previous photo was done through the narrow band filters, which suppress the light pollution and increases the contrast of the picture. Now I tried it with normal one shot color camera and I must conclude that it went quite well.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length630 mm
MountAvalon M-Zero
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure16x300s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-03-30

M58 M89 M90 Galaxies


The spring has arrived and there are many galaxies, which yet has to be captured by me, in order to finish the Messier catalogue. This night I managed to capture tree of them in one shot. Messier 58 (upper left side) is a barred spiral galaxy, which is approximately 68 million light-years from Earth. This makes it the furthest object from Messier catalogue. Messier 89 (bottom middle) is only 50 million light-years from us and Messier 90 (right) is approximately 59 million light-years away.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length630 mm
MountAvalon M-Zero
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-20°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR
FiltersHutech IDAS LPS-D2
Exposure90x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-03-29

M93 Open Cluster

Messier 93 is an open cluster located in constellation Puppis and it is about 3400 light-year away from Earth. The cluster is one of those deep space objects, which I cannot see from my home, therefore I had to pack the gear and enjoy starry night outside. Compared to my previous attempt, I took the laser collimator with me and waited sufficiently long the temper the telescope. Well I was surprised that the stars are slightly oval and there is blue halo on one side and red one on the other side of nearly each star. I was speculating if there is something wrong with the optics, but then I realized that this object has very low declination (it’s not far from horizon), therefore it’s exposed to atmosphere refraction/dispersion. This means that the light must pass through the thick layer of an air. In this case the atmosphere works as a lens and bends red and blue light differently. The effect is described here or here.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length630 mm
MountAvalon M-Zero
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-20°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR
FiltersHutech IDAS LPS-D2
Exposure30x60s, Gain 136, bin 1x1,
Date2019-03-27

M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula

Messier 76 is one out of four planetary nebulae in Messier catalogue. It is one of the dimmest objects in this catalogue. The nebula is located in constellation Perseus and it is 2500 light-years away from Earth. M76 was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1780 and in the same year was catalogued by Charles Messier.

The picture is a stack of 58 pictures, each 180s, which means nearly 3 hours of the integration time. However, the conditions were far from optimal, because the Moon was in first quarter and illuminating the skies.

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1000 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-20°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersHutech IDAS LPS-D2
Exposure58x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-02-14

M41 Open Cluster

In order to complete the Messier Catalogue and capture all of its deep space objects, I have to pack the telescope, mount, camera, cables and batteries and set it up somewhere in the nature with better view. Most of the objects I am able to capture from home, but some of them have very low declination (not far above the horizon) and I cannot see them from my terrace, because there is a hill direction south.

Messier 41, open cluster in constellation Canis Major is one of them.  So, I packed my car and went to collect some photons. At least I got the opportunity to test my new mount Avalon M-Zero, which replaced my previous portable mount iOptron CEM25P. The old portable mount was working well, but due to conventional equatorial design, one needs a counterweight, which was in this case 5 kg. This means 1/3 of the total weight. M-Zero is basically single fork mount, which utilizes the weight of the motors and housing as a counterweight. Moreover, M-Zero uses belts and pulleys, which means zero backlash. I can confirm – it works very well. I can save few kgs in my case during my next travel expedition.

The night was cold and since I don’t do the astrophotography in the nature frequently, I faced some issues. First, the portable telescope lost the collimation and I didn’t have the laser collimator with me. Second, I started to photograph before the telescope reached the thermal equilibrium, therefore there was a focus drift. This is definitely not my best picture, but I can at least check another Messier object from the list.

Technical details

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length630 mm
MountAvalon M-Zero
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-20°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR
FiltersHutech IDAS LPS-D2
Exposure39x60s, Gain 136, bin 1x1,
Date2019-02-12