Messier 51, the Whirlpool Galaxy and NGC 5195 imaged from Roberts Creek with my 120mm Megrez refractor on July 13th when it was nicely visible for me. The image is 150 minutes of combined exposures ranging from 30 to 600 seconds with flats and darks applied, taken with a Hα “modded” DSLR.
This is a nice example of interacting spiral galaxies, they are located in Canes Venatici. Estimated to be 23 ± 4 million light-years beyond the Milky Way, M51 was actually the first galaxy to be officially classified as a spiral galaxy. Messier 51 is one of the best known galaxies in the sky. The galaxy and its companion (NGC 5195) are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars.
Mike Bradley, SCC RASC
Charles, David, and Mike went back to the observatory on Sunday evening to align the finder scope, check polar alignment, run the telescope through its paces with the hand control, then repeat the process with a lap top. We confirmed that the vibration problem had been corrected and the corrector plate problem had been corrected by Vancouver Telescopes
Mike, Adrian, and Charles worked on the observatory today and finished a lot of small jobs. Mike connected up the instrumentation on the pier and then Mike and Charles got the mount and telescope (just back from servicing at Vancouver Telescopes) set up.
Taking advantage of last weeks’ clear nights I decided to image the Messier 81 Group, a very attractive target in Ursa Major about 12 million light years away. Messier 81 or M81 is a spiral galaxy also known as Bode’s Galaxy. Messier 82 or M82 is a starburst galaxy which also goes by the name of the Cigar Galaxy, it is the site of intense star-forming activity. On 21 January 2014 at 19.20 UT a supernova was detected in M82, it remained easily visible through small telescopes for several months, but has faded considerably now. This was one of the closest supernovae to Earth observed in recent decades and as a result it was studied extensively.
This was a stack of images from my Ha modified DSLR at 800 ISO totaling 180 minutes, the scope was guided. Even though the camera was sensitive to the Ha emissions from M82, very little evidence was present in my images unfortunately.
SCC RASC Past President