Bode's & Cigar Galaxies, January 21, 2020
(Click on Picture for larger view)
Added January 21, 2020 ...
Bode's Galaxy & The Cigar Galaxy, January 21, 2020
The sky was crystal clear and humidly low with no moon ... an astrophotography dream condition. I pointed the scope at a pair of galaxies high in the NE sky around midnight for this equivalent 2 hour exposure. (It was cold outside, but I am able to totally control the telescope from my warm office).
Messier 81 is also known as Bode's Galaxy, named after the German astronomer Johann Elert Bode who discovered it in 1774. It is about 12 million light-years away and about the same size of our Milky Way Galaxy with about 250 billion stars. It appears nearly face on. The center contains a super black hole.
Messier 82 or The Cigar Galaxy is known as a "Starburst" galaxy with an exceptionally high rate of star birth ongoing. It gets its name by its shape of that of a celestial cigar. The galaxy appears 'edge on' from our point of view. It contains about 30 billion stars (and growing) and is about 11.5 million light-years away.
Both of these galaxies are part of a group of galaxies and are found in the constellation Ursa Major (The Big Dipper). Even though they are more than 11 million light-years from earth, they are only about 150,000 light-year from each other.
The Techy Stuff
Telescope: Orion 190mm Maksutov-Newtonian at f/5.3
Focal length: 1,000 mm
Mount: Celestron CGX
Mount setting and alignment via Celestron PWI software
Guiding: Orion StarShoot AutoGuider Pro & 80mm Scope
Guiding Software: PHD2
Camera: Altair Hypercam 294c Pro TEC
Sensor Temp: -15°C (5°F)
Focus Controller: Pegasus Cube
Settings: Gain: 450
Total sub-frames: 41 @180sec (2hr 3min)
Calibration frames: 12 Dark 40 Flat and Dark_Flat
Capture Software: SharpCap Pro
Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker
Post processing in PixInsight & Photoshop CC
Outside temperature 33°F (1°C)
Bortle Light Pollution zone: 4.5 (Barely can see the Milky Way)
Sky Condition: 10 [scale of 0 (cloudy) to 10 (clear)]
Location: My Heavenly Garden Backyard, Savannah, GA
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