horsehead and flame nebulae


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Welcome to taosastronomer.com!

offering local "hands-on" observing
(visual and imaging) sessions and instruction
viewing and imaging from Rabbit Valley Observatory
a dark sky location on the mesa just west of Taos, NM

 

M81 and M82

Image obtained 5-22/23-2015 through RVO's Megrez 80mm refractor with Orion field-flattener lens, using a Baader-modified Canon XSi DSLR and BackyardEOS image-acquisition software -- 7 selected and stacked 360-second luminance frames combined with multiple dark, flat and bias calibration frames shot at ISO 1600 and totaling more than 162 minutes (42 minutes effective luminance) were used to create this image; optics driven by the Losmandy G-11 mount equipped with Ovision's precision RA worm gear, guided with an Orion SSG3 Monochrome CCD camera using Maxim DL Pro and post-processed with DeepSkyStacker and Photoshop CS3.

Bode's Galaxy (M81 -- in the center of this photograph) is a spiral galaxy in Ursa Major, estimated to be about 12 million light years from Earth. M82 (to the right of M81), know as the Cigar Galaxy, is a starburst irregular galaxy, its shape apparently convoluted as a result of its interaction with nearby M81. Featureless irregular galaxy NGC3077 is also seen in the upper left of this image. Longer, more highly resolved images would reveal literally hundreds of distant galaxies in this region. Details and excellent astrophotos through his 12-inch astrograph by pro by Fred Espanek linked here -- details of his extensive equipment are also noted on his very complete website.

[copyright Rabbit Valley Observatory/Willis Greiner, 2015 -- all rights reserved

M81 and M82

Image (merely enlarged and cropped from image above) obtained 5-22/23-2015 through RVO's Megrez 80mm refractor with Orion field-flattener lens, using a Baader-modified Canon XSi DSLR and BackyardEOS image-acquisition software -- 7 selected and stacked 360-second luminance frames combined with multiple dark, flat and bias calibration frames shot at ISO 1600 and totaling more than 162 minutes (42 minutes effective luminance) were used to create this image; optics driven by the Losmandy G-11 mount equipped with Ovision's precision RA worm gear, guided with an Orion SSG3 Monochrome CCD camera using Maxim DL Pro and post-processed with DeepSkyStacker and Photoshop CS3.

M81 and M82 are nice visually in rather modest amateur telescopes, but even the detail seen here is difficult visually (as is typical with all galaxies), due to the sensitivity of the camera's chip and the time exposures necessary to capture details such as the spiral arms of M81 and the hint of a violent event in the center of M82. Linked here is a nice conversation involving the visual observation of these two gems.

The above link speaks to the irregular shape of M82 due, it is thought, to its interaction with close neighbor M81.

This link shows a slightly less resolved, wide-field view (more similar to mine above) not surprisingly through a smaller, yet very capable and elegant 7.1-inch 'scope of Mr. Espanek.

[copyright Rabbit Valley Observatory/Willis Greiner, 2015 -- all rights reserved]


home
history
equipment
visual observing sessions
imaging sessions
image post-processing
"The Imperative of Night" narrative
contact us

 

(all content copyright 2015-2019 Willis Greiner Photography, all rights reserved)