A fistfull of galaxies

Deep in space – 50 million lightyears away –  lurks this cluster of galaxies called Abell 2199.  At some area’s you will find more galaxies then (foreground) stars. Actually the whole image gives a fuzzy appearance, not only because the seeing was not very good and my processing skills need improvement, but also because lots of “stars” are actually fuzzy galaxies.

Taken on May 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th in total 280 minutes (4hrs 40minutes) of data.

Would you count the number of fuzzies in this image? I tried a bit and came to 200 galaxies, not counting suspicious stars.   The brightest one is NGC6166 at 11th magnitude, most small galaxies are magnitude 16th.

Seeing conditions were not very brilliant during the capture and tracking went off sometimes (for unclear reasons most likely declination backlash).

With M3 (May 4th) , NGC5053 (May 5th) and this image (May 6,7 & 8th) , I broke my personal record with imaging 6 nights in a row.

Continue reading “A fistfull of galaxies”

A nice little galaxy group in Canes Venatici

This picture was taken arbitrarily in Canes, looking for a test object to verify the corrections I did to the optical train. In the previous image (M3) I noticed some tilted focal plane. That was due to an extension ring which was not tightened enough. The main galaxy here is NGC5353

Globular cluster M3 in Canes Venatici

Further tuning & testing my setup, I used some clear sky to image this globular cluster in Canes Venatici. 31x180s on ISO800 with the regular setup: C11 D750 Optolong, ASI174MM

I tried out an alternative way to collimate before imaging, by attaching the ASI camera on a Nikon T-Ring adapter. This way the whole image train is kept in place and only the camera’s are switching.

It did not work out as expected, so have to find a way to collimate using the Nikon instead. Challenging!

Anyhow as a result the full frame image was not flat / in focus so I needed to drop this image. The size was reduced to 70% with a pixelscale of 0,8″ per pixel and field diameter of 20′

This globular is at a distance of 34.000 light years and contains approximately half a million stars (I expected more to be honest). Surprisingly it moves towards us at a speed of 147 km/s. 5source: messier-objects.com)

(click on the image for a larger version)