Astrophotography on La Palma – Taking a look at spiral galaxy “Messier 100”



Date2017/03/27
LocationLa Palma / Spain
ObjectMessier 100 (spiral galaxy)
CameraAtik383L+
Guidingyes, QHY5-II Mono via OAG
Telescope8" GSO Newtonian
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-10°C
Luminance11x 600s, bin: 1x1
Red9x 150s, bin: 2x2
Green9x 150s, bin: 2x2
Blue9x 150s, bin: 2x2
Dark2x
Flat10x
Total exposure~2h57m
In a clear night I recorded this image of “Messier 100” – a spiral galaxy located within the southern part of constellation Coma Berenices – from Los Llanos de Aridane on La Palma. It is an LRGB composite consisting of 11 luminance frames a 600 seconds and 9 red, green and blue frames a 150 seconds respectively. The image is also available in full resolution. The seeing conditions tonight were perfect (seeing ~1.95″) and there was no local wind. The annotated image shows a lot of other interesting objects like NGC4323, IC783, NGC4312 and NGC4328 beside M100. Some objects I was not able to assign, yet – those are marked with question marks and could be additional galaxies.


Looking at the Sunflower Galaxy ~8.7 billion Round-the-World trips away

36 million light years away – or 8.700.000.000 trips around the world! That’s the approximate distance to the Sunflower Galaxy which also has the boring acronym M63.

Tonight I decided to point my 8″ Newton telescope to this object to have a closer look. Even if I only had 2 hours of time I am still satisfied with the result. Personally, I think a sunflower looks a little different – anyway I like the shape and the structure of this object. M63 is located in constellation Canes Venatici and is not “so far” away from M51. Its apparent magnitude is about 9.3mag. Besides, I already targeted M63 a few years ago, but this new result I think is much better.

Date2016/05/02
LocationBöblingen / Germany
ObjectSunflower Galaxy (M63)
CameraAtik383L+
Guidingyes, QHY5-II Mono via OAG
Telescope8
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-15°C
Luminance4x, 600s, bin: 1x1
Red4x, 150s, bin: 2x2
Green4x, 150s, bin: 2x2
Blue4x, 150s, bin: 2x2
Dark2x
Flat10x
Total exposure~1h10min.

Astrocups – The perfect Christmas present for Astro-Fans!

Happy Christmas to everyone! Well, if you are still looking for an astronomy related Christmas present you are probably a little late this year 😀 But maybe you just found something for next year… Using some of my best images I composed some fancy “astrocups”. Next time you prepare for your star-gazing event you should have one of these with you! To produce the cups I used the service of http://www.luebeckgeschenke.de/ (more exactly here). The images are designed for the “standard cup (white)” and the “black cup” with a dimension of 1496 × 630 pixels, 200×200 ppi. Here are the three best ones so far:
1. The “Black Hole Cup”
This cup symbolizes a black hole just like the center of M51 – the Whirlpool Galaxy which is printed on the cup. This image is the outcome of a long night in May 2015. Personally I think this cup is best suited for black coffee…Download

2. The “Good night Cup”
The “Good night cup” has images of Jupiter, Saturn, our moon and the sun. The photo of the sun has been taken during the partial solar eclipse in March 2015. The moon is a small version of the moon mosaic recorded in July 2015. Download


3. The “Star-gazer Cup”
Finally, the Star-gazer cup reminds me on the time I spent on La Palma. The cup is white since the sky is already dark enough there…
Download

Clear skies!

Last updated: December 26, 2015 at 11:06 am

Star-gazing live in Böblingen – 2015/11/11 – IC342

Tonight is probably the first perfect night for star-gazing for a very very long time! The sky looks clear and the forecast also looks very promising! So lets see which surprises this night is going to have 🙂

The object for tonight is IC342. It is a spiral galaxy in constellation Camelopardalis. The galaxy is about 10 million light years away from us. In other words that means the light travelled about 10 millions years before it finally hits my telescope 🙂

In fact, this object is very weak. A brightness of about 12mag is very close to the limit I can image with my telescope here from Böblingen. Still I think it is worth a try. The first frame just came in. It has been recorded with binning 1×1 and an IR filter. The exposure of this single frame has been 800 seconds – actually one of the longest I ever did. I am not so sure if this is a good idea – especially regarding the final image quality… lets see….

The seeing is above the average this time. After a while, 11 IR (800s, 1×1 binning), 9 R and G frames (200s, 2×2 binning) and 8 B frames (200s, 2×2 binning) have been successfully captured! I will post the result pretty soon. Good night everyone!

Hello again! One short night later I finally composed the collected frames using DeepSkyStacker 3.3.2 with Kappa-Sigma Clipping. Actually, I am very satisfied with the result. Unfortunately the object is not that colorful but the structures are quite good visible. And again, I am surprised that it was possible to image a 12mag object from a city like Böblingen with an cheap 8″ Newton telescope 🙂 A full resolution image is available here. The most important image data can be found in the table below.


Date2012/10/17
LocationBöblingen / Germany
ObjectM33 (Triangulum Galaxy)
CameraAtik383L+
Guidingyes, QHY5-II Mono via OAG
Telescope8
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-15°C
Luminance11x, 800s, bin: 1x1
Red9x, 200s, bin: 2x2
Green9x, 200s, bin: 2x2
Blue8x, 200s, bin: 2x2
Dark10x
Flat10x
Total exposure~3h53min.

Further details on the equipment used can be found on the equipment page.

Clear skies, and see you next time!

Last updated: May 30, 2019 at 13:18 pm

Fireworks Galaxy (NGC6946) and open cluster (NGC6939) in constellation Cepheus

This is a shot taken from a less popular region in constellation Cepheus. On the bottom right is the spiral galaxy NGC6946 also known as Fireworks Galaxy. On the top left is an open cluster with the great name NGC6939. The seeing was ok but could have been better… like most of the time 🙂 For more details on the equipment take a look at the equipment page. For stacking the images I used DeepSkyStacker 3.3.2 with Kappa-Sigma Clipping.

Date2012/10/17
LocationBöblingen / Germany
ObjectM33 (Triangulum Galaxy‎)
CameraAtik383L+
Guidingyes, QHY5-II Mono via OAG
Telescope8" GSO Newtonian
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-15°C
Luminance7x, 600s, bin: 1x1
Red4x, 150s, bin: 2x2
Green3x, 150s, bin: 2x2
Blue4x, 150s, bin: 2x2
Dark10x
Flat10x
Total exposure~1h37m
Last updated: June 28, 2016 at 18:01 pm