M106 (under light polluted skies)

I’ve shot M106 several times over the years, but I’ve never been thrilled with the results. With galaxy season coming to a close, I decided to give it another go this year. The 910 mm focal length of my new TS-Optics Photoline 130 nicely frames the M106 and some of its gravitationally-bound friends. I’m happy with the image overall, but it was a struggle in processing to pull out enough color. The local light pollution washes out the color contrast.

The little galaxy just to the right of M106 is NGC4248. At lower right is NGC4217, and at upper right is NGC4220. There is a pair of 14th-magnitude interacting galaxies at center right: NGC4231 and NGC4232. The faint galaxy to M106’s lower left is NGC7356 at magnitude 17. Of course, there are loads of faint background galaxies if you zoom in. The image here is at 25% of full resolution.

~10 hours of M106 (LRGB)
  • Exposures (-10ºC, gain=100):
    • Luminance: 125×180s
    • R: 28×180s
    • G: 18×180s
    • B: 25×180s
    • Total exposure time:  9 hours 48 minutes
    • Taken from Doylestown, PA, May 21, 29, 30, 2022
  • Telescope: TS-Optics Photoline130 at f/7 with 2.5″ flattener
  • Camera: ZWO ASI2600MM-Pro with Astrodon filters
  • Mount: iOptron CEM60
  • Guiding: ZWO ASI120MM (off-axis)
  • Acquisition: NINA + PHD2 and ASTAP
  • Processing: AstroPixelProcessor, PixInsight

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