Month: May 2019

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.