Sunday, August 18, 2013

M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy
On this night in March 2013, M51 was my primary target.  Conditions were excellent, and I managed to collect over 5.5hours of data (total, including Luminance [L] and Red,Green,Blue [RGB]).  The time spanned from about 8pm-2am local time.  Details of the image can be seen at this direct link:

The entire imaging session for M51 had the scope on the "west" side of the mount, as M51 was rising from the east.  As it moves to near zenith, I must stop imaging as the camera then becomes very close to the tripod mount legs (can see a picture of my setup on my main site at the equipment section, here: and impact would damage the camera, mount, as well as the telescope.  As an aside here, on an imaging night, I set 30 minute timers to wake me up so I can go out and check on all of the equipment periodically.  This is for the above reason as well as to check that cables are still free, as similar damage described above could a occur should a cable become snagged as the mount is tracking.

A First: 15 minute sub-frames

This night was also special in that it was my first time going to 15-minute long sub-frames.  These were done for the L channel.  The tracking was spot on.  At 1000mm focal length, this says a lot for the impressive Takahashi EM200 mount.

The image I am showing here in this blog is a reduced-size crop result.  For the full result, please check it out at my site (

As always, thanks for looking.

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