Sep 172015
 
The Andromeda Galaxy (M31)

The Great Andromeda Galaxy is just 2.3 million light years away and will someday merge with our own Milky Way.  It’s so large and bright (and close!) that it appears visible to the naked eye from dark locations (albeit as a faint, hazy smudge from all but the darkest sites).  Here is approximately 20 hours […]

Sep 282014
 
Messier 33 -- The Triangulum Galaxy

Another popular target is M33 — The Triangulum Galaxy.  Although it is relatively bright and close to us (for a galaxy this large), its apparent size makes it a difficult target to pull from light polluted skies.  Thus, even after 9 hours of exposure, the galaxy below appears as a pale imitation of how it […]

Aug 302014
 
M31 -- The Andromeda Galaxy

This is still a work in progress, but I’ve collected all the RGB data for this version of M31 (the Andromeda Galaxy) that I’m going to get.  The clouds are rolling in, so it might be a while before I get some h-alpha data to add. Observations of M31 by the Spitzer Space Telescope in […]

Apr 282012
 
The Whirlpool Galaxy -- M51

Conditions were too unsteady for planetary imaging last night.  I needed to check the alignment and pointing model of the scope, so after completing that task I turned the scope to a favorite deep-sky object.  Here is a very quick image of The Whirlpool Galaxy, known to amateurs as ‘M51‘.  The image is made from […]

Jan 202012
 
Galaxy Season

Amateur astronomers call the winter “Galaxy Season” because our night sky points away from the center of our home galaxy — the Milky Way — letting us have a less-obstructed view of what lies beyond.  Two of the seasonal favorites are the spiral galaxy M81 and the barred, edge-on galaxy NGC 891.  While not such […]

Jun 032011
 
A new supernova in M51?

I saw it reported today that a group of french amateurs is reporting the discovery of a new supernova in M51.  Coincidentally, I was imaging M51 last night and believe that I caught what they are reporting.  This image is a preliminary processing of about 2.5 hrs of data captured last night in breezy, but […]