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christopher hunt

Orion Nebula

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M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy) image

M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy)

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Contains: Deep sky object
Acquisition Details
  • Number of frames:
  • FPS:
  • Focal length:

I have made 3 efforts to image this galaxy. Two attempts were made with a 102mm refractor in 2018 and my last attempt was made in April of 2021 with a Takahashi FSQ-130ED refractor. The latter attempt was using an extender to increase the focal length of the larger refractor from 650mm to 1040mm. Guiding was performed with a Takahashi 60mm refractor operating at a focal length of 500mm. I used PHD2 and APT software for the guiding and camera operation. I did use dithering and I did take flat frames at the end of the light frame acquisition. Twenty-five light frames were taken at ISO 1600 and for 300 seconds. Several dark frames were taken and several flat frames and also bias frames were used. All the frames were then stacked in Deep Sky Stacker. It was a long process but eventually I was able to bring out some detail in this galaxy which I thought may not be possible since M51 was so tiny on the sensor of my Canon Ra imaging camera. I used Photoshop for all the post processing. The image attached was cropped severely from the starting image. Probably 90% or so. My imaging was performed on my back porch in Illinois