Category: Galaxy

M74 Phantom Galaxy

Messier 74, sometimes called Phantom Galaxy, is a galaxy located in constellation Pisces. This galaxy has two prominent spiral arms and it is typical example of a spiral galaxy. The distance 35 million light-years from Earth has been estimated, therefore what we are looking at here is 35 million year old picture.

The photo was taken in Schwarzwald under decent dark skies and it’s an integration of 45 photos, each 3 minutes exposure, i.e. more than 2 hours of exposure time in total.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure45x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2018-10-12

 


NGC6946 Fireworks Galaxy, NGC6939 Ghost Bush Cluster

NGC 6946, sometimes called Fireworks Galaxy, is a beautiful spiral galaxy located between constellations Cepheus and Cygnus. It is approximately 22.5 million light-years away from Earth and it’s a part of Virgo Supercluster of galaxies. The name didn’t get from the shape, but due to frequent explosions of supernovae.

Next to the galaxy is located NGC6939 Ghost Bush Cluster, which is a part of our own Galaxy, therefore the distance from earth is “only” 4000 light-years.

The picture is the last one from the day. I slewed to target, switched on auto guiding and went to sleep. Therefore the picture is an integration of 73 photos, each 5 minutes long, i.e. 6 hours of total time. This is probably the picture with the longest integration time from Milos.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure73x300s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,
Date2018-09-10

 


M33 Triangulum galaxy

This is third galaxy captured on Milos. First I was not able to resist and captured Andromeda, second one was Barnard’s galaxy and third one is this one M33 galaxy in constellation Triangulum or simply Triangulum galaxy. Andromeda galaxy (biggest), Milky Way (second biggest) and Triangulum (third biggest) form local group of galaxies. M33 has diameter approximately 60 thousand light-year, which makes it half size of the Milky Way and the light from there has been traveling roughly 3 million years.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure43x180s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,
Date2018-09-10

NGC6822 Barnard’s Galaxy

NGC6822 is a galaxy located in the constellation Sagittarius and it is 1.6 million light-years from Earth. This galaxy belongs to a local group of galaxies together with Andromeda, Triangulum Galaxy and Milky Way. This galaxy is quite famous, because Edwin Hubble discovered several variable stars in this galaxy. These variable stars can be used for determination of the distance from Earth. Barnard’s Galaxy was the first galaxy with accurately determined distance.

Barnard’s Galaxy is very dim deep space object; therefore I dedicated quite long integration time to it (180 minute) and I chose long exposure time to each frame (300 seconds). Several nebulae are visible on the picture. These are the red spots located at the left side of the galaxy. They are called Bubble Nebula and Ring Nebula and are giant HII regions, where new stars are born.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure36x300s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,
Date2018-09-07

M31 Andromeda galaxy

After capturing many clusters I wanted to switch to more interesting objects, which would test the quality of the skies on Milos, therefore I slewed my portable newton telescope to probably the most famous galaxy – Andromeda. During the post-processing I was astonished how many details were revealed after such short integration time. I would not be able to capture such picture from home, even if I would use any light pollution filters and much longer integration time.

Brief description of the galaxy: Andromeda is our galactic neighbor and it is approximately 2.5 million light-year from Earth, but it is approaching (110 km/s). There are estimates that our Milky Way and Andromeda will collide, but we still have some time, because it should occur in 4.5 billion years. Andromeda has diameter 220 thousand light-years, which makes it twice bigger than our own galaxy Milky Way. Two clouds surrounding the main galaxy are dwarf galaxies M32 and M110.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure18x180s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,
Date2018-09-05

M98 Galaxy

Messier 98 is a spiral galaxy located in constellation Coma Berenices. This galaxy is easy to find, because it is located only 6° to the east from the bright star Danebola. M98 is approximately 44 million light years away and it has a blue shift. This means that it is approaching us at about 140 km/s. This means we have still some time till the collision occurs.

Technical details:

Telescope:Newton 254/1000 mm
Aperture:254 mm
Focal length:1000 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
Camera:ZWO ASI071MC Pro
Corrector:GPU
Filters:UV IR cut
Exposure:54xRGB 300s
Date:2018-04-17

NGC2903 Galaxy

NGC2903 is a spiral galaxy located in constellation Leo and it is approximately 30 million light years away from Earth. This galaxy is in many ways similar to our home galaxy Milky Way. For example the diameter is 80 000 light year, which is slightly smaller than the diameter of Milky Way.

Technical details

Telescope:Newton 254/1000 mm
Aperture:254 mm
Focal length:1000 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
Camera:ZWO ASI071MC Pro
Corrector:GPU
Filters:UV IR cut
Exposure:40xRGB 180s
Date:2018-04-13

 


M49 Galaxy

Messier 49 is an elliptical galaxy belonging to the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. Magnitude 8.4 makes this galaxy the brightest in whole Virgo Cluster. Due to its brightness, it’s possible to observe it just by using binoculars. Distance of M49 from Solar system is 52 million light-years.

The picture is a stack of 40 photos with exposure time 5 minutes each. This means more than 3 hours of exposure time.

Technical details

Telescope:Newton 254/1000 mm
Aperture:254 mm
Focal length:1000 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
Camera:ZWO ASI071MC Pro
Corrector:GPU
Filters:UV IR cut
Exposure:40xRGB 300s
Date:2018-04-11

M100 Blow dryer galaxy, NGC 4312 Galaxy

Messier 100 is a spiral galaxy sometimes called Blow Dryer Galaxy. It is located in constellation Coma Berenices and it is approximately 55 million light-years far from Earth. The diameter is 107 000 light-years, which makes it comparable to our home galaxy Milky Way. M100 is accompanied by small satellite galaxies NGC4323 and NGC4328. Bigger galaxy on the left is called NGC4312.

Finally, nice weather arrived and what else to photograph during the spring than some galaxies in the Virgo Cluster. The picture is a stack of 40 images, 5 minutes exposure time each. The star shapes are not as they should be. I was testing new camera ZWO ASI071 MC Pro and I placed UV IR cut filter far from the sensor, in order to avoid reflections. The filter is not perfectly attached, so probably it’s tilted. I will have to improve that.

Technical details:

Telescope:Newton 254/1000 mm
Aperture:254 mm
Focal length:1000 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
Camera:ZWO ASI071MC Pro
Corrector:GPU
Filters:UV IR cut
Exposure:40xRGB 300s
Date:2018-04-06

M95 Galaxy

Messier 95 is a spiral galaxy, which is located in constellation Leo. It is 38 million light-years away from Solar system and it belongs to a group of galaxies with M96 and M105. M95 belongs between the galaxies intensively studied by Hubble Space Telescope, in order to determine Hubble’s constant. Collected results were adjusted with help of satellite Hipparcos and the distance of this galaxy was estimated. The galaxy is drifting away from us by speed 766 km/s.

Technical details

Telescope:Newton 254/1000 mm
Aperture:254 mm
Focal length:1000 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
Camera:ZWO ASI071MC Pro
Corrector:GPU
Filters:UV IR cut
Exposure:18xRGB 180s
Date:2018-03-29

M96 M105 NGC3384 NGC3389 Galaxies

Four bright galaxies in one shot! M96 on the lower left, which I already captured last year. At that time I didn’t know, that there are other galaxies, which can fit into the field of view of my camera. These are: M105 circular, lowest in the galactic triangle, MGC3384 – right in the galactic triangle and NGC3389 – left one in the galactic triangle. These galaxies are located in the constellation Lion and they are visible during the spring. Therefore I call the spring the season of galaxies. The weather last year was much better and I captured many of them. For instance here or here or here or here or here.

Technical details

Telescope:Newton 254/1000 mm
Aperture:254 mm
Focal length:1000 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
Camera:ZWO ASI071MC Pro
Corrector:GPU
Filters:UV IR cut
Exposure:30xRGB 180s
Date:2018-03-21

NGC 5963 NGC 5965 Galaxies

The spring galaxies in constellation Leo are behind the horizon, but I can prolong the season of the galaxies by pointing my telescope into the constellation Draco. I managed to capture four galaxies in one shot. These two bright ones are called NGC5963 and NGC5965. The white one with spiral arm is 5963 and one with yellow hue is 5965. These galaxies were discovered by William Herschel in year 1788. They might look like neighbors, but it only seems so. One galaxy is 140 million light-years, second one only 40 million light-years away.


NGC 5907 Knife Edge Galaxy

This spiral galaxy is located in constellation Draco and it is 50 million light-year far from Earth. Very impressive picture was made by David Martinez-Delgado et.al here. He managed to capture star stream around the galaxy as a result of tidal forces acting on dwarf galaxy. The simulation here explains what happened. I have to admit, there are no signs of such streams on my picture. This is caused by the fact that I live in light polluted area and I have much smaller telescope.


M63 Sunflower Galaxy

Another captured galaxy this spring. Sunflower Galaxy located in constellation Canes Venatici (hunting dogs) just like M106 or M51 galaxies. M63 has nicely visible spiral arms, it’s 27 million light-years far from us and it’s so called active galaxy, which means that the center of the galaxy is significantly brighter due to presence of supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy.

For this picture I used new astro-camera ZWO 1600 MC, which is one-shot color camera. This means no filter wheel is needed and camera is much lighter than my old Moravian Instruments G2 8300M. The disadvantage of this camera is that it’s not possible to use narrow band filters. However, for RGB the performance is quite comparable.


NGC4565 Needle Galaxy

Needle Galaxy is located constellation Coma Berenices The light from there traveled 40 million years, because the galaxy is approximately 40 million light years from Earth. Actually, what we are looking at is 40 million years old picture. The needle shape is caused by its orientation towards our Milky Way Galaxy (the plane of the galactic disk is perpendicular in our view).


M106 Galaxy

Galactic harvest continues. Here again I focused my scope to previously photographed DSO. The galaxy is located in constellation Canes Venatici (hunting dogs) not far from famous constellation Ursa Major (great bear) and it’s approximately 24 million light-years far from us.


M81 Bode Galaxy M82 Cigar Galaxy

Another galaxy harvest. This time were captured two galaxies in one shot. The spiral one on the right is called Bode Galaxy and on the left Cigar Galaxy. They are located in constellation Ursa Major (Great Bear) and they are proximately 12 million light-years away from us. Even though their centers are quite far from each other (300 thousands light-years), they interact with each other and the smaller one (Cigar) was deformed by tidal forces caused by gravity. Previous picture didn’t reveal such details.


M109 Vacuum Cleaner Galaxy

This spring I am harvesting the galaxies from the sky. After the M104 Sombrero I pointed the telescope into the constellation Ursa Major and focused on M109 Vacuum Cleaner Galaxy, which is located approximately 83 light years from us. Unfortunately, one bright star – Phad was in the visual vicinity and created diffraction spike spreading through the picture. So next time I will change the composition.


M104 Sombrero galaxy

The spring is a season of the galaxies. Winter nebulae are gone and constellations Lion, Ursa Major or Virgo are offering stunning deep space objects. The moon was hidden and the wetter finally good, so I took to opportunity and pointed my telescope into the constellation Virgo and collected some light coming from Sombrero galaxy, which has been on the way 32 million years. This galaxy looks like a Mexican hut, because it’s surrounded by dust belt. This is my second attempt to capture M104. First one, two years ago, was not that successful. Anyway, it’s better than last time, but I still cannot get to the quality of Hubble Space Telescope. However my equipment has better price/performance ratio 🙂


Markarian’s Chain

Only few locations on the skies contain so many galaxies as Markarian’s Chain. It belongs to the Virgo galaxy cluster. The brightest galaxies in the center (M84 and M86) were discovered by Charles Messier already in 1781. The smaller one on the left is called NGC 4388, on the right NGC 4402 and at the bottom NGC 4438. These galaxies are located in constellation Virgo between two bright stars Danebola (constellation Leo) and Videmiatrix (Virgo) and they are 50 – 60 million light-years far from the Solar System.

This picture makes me think how big the universe is. Each galaxy contains billions of stars and there is so many of them…

Even though I used my smallest telescope (focal length 600 mm) the whole Markarian’s chain didn’t fit into the field of view. This means I will do mosaic, but probably next year.