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M101 and Friends

The Pinwheel Galaxy is a beautiful, large galaxy, though it’s always surprisingly tough to process because of its low surface brightness.  It’s in great position this time of year, so I was able to get about 16 hours of data on it.  Due to high winds on two of the nights, I had to throw out about 1/3 of the subs, but I still had over 11 hours to work with.  Click the image for a full resolution version.

M101 Final PS copy

  • Exposures (all at gain=76, -15ºC):
    • Luminance 241×90s
    • Red 48×90s
    • Green 68×90s
    • Blue 88×90s
    • Total exposure time:  11 hours 7 minutes
    • Taken nights of 4/21, 4/22, 5/12, 5/13 2020 from Doylestown, PA
  • Telescope: Takahashi FSQ106ED (f/5 530 mm)
  • Camera: ZWO ASI1600MM-Pro with Baader 36 mm filters
  • Mount: Takahashi EM-200
  • Guiding: Orion Starshoot Autoguider on 50 mm finder scope
  • Processing: PixInsight and Photoshop

As you can see from the annotated version below, many of the background stars are actually galaxies!

M101_Annotated

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