Was a nice night last night. Clear and warm, in the low 50’s, with a little bit of a breeze. The Moon was pretty bright, about 80% waxing, but still a nice night to EAA observe. I did some testing early in the night on different exposure lengths and gains while I waited for the targets on my observation list to rise a bit higher in the sky. I was able to add 7 more objects to my Messier Log.
I think I was just a bit out of focus and there was a dust speck, either on the telescope or the camera glass, which bothered me most of the night, ugh. My EAA captures are a little darker as I was trying to adjust out the dust speck with the live stack histogram.
All these EAA images were capture with my SV305 Camera through my Astro-Tech AT66ED and live stacked using SharpCap Pro. The mount and cameras are remotely controlled with KStars/Ekos/INDI running on an Astroberry Raspberry Pi.
I started with M82, the Cigar Galaxy, in the constellation Ursa Major. I have captured this one many times before, but I had some time and it was in a good dark part of the sky. I spent a bit of time tinkering with some different exposure and gain settings. Here is a live stack of 80 x 15 second exposures @ 400 gain.
This was my best capture of the night and probably the best EAA capture of M82 I have so far using the SV305.
M94 a spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. This is a live stack of 60 x 15 second exposures at 350 gain.
M95 a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Leo. This is a live stack of 60 x 15 second exposures at 400 gain.
There is an interesting double star in the upper left, this is NGC 3345. Here is the SharpCap Deep Sky Image Annotation with NGC3345 labeled.
M96 an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Leo. This is a live stack of 60 x 15 second exposures at 400 gain.
Technically these next few are from 02/12/2022 since it is after midnight, but I date my logs based on the date/time I start observing.
M98 an intermediate spiral galaxy in Coma Berenices. This is a live stack of 60 x 15 second exposures at 400 gain.
This one got photobombed. You can just see the trail of a satellite which passed just to the left of center.
M99 a grand design spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices. This is a live stack of 60 x 15 second exposures at 450 gain.
M100 a grand design intermediate spiral galaxy in Coma Berenices. This is a live stack of 60 x 15 second exposures at 450 gain.
There are a couple other interesting galaxies in the FOV. NGC 4312 is to the right and NCG 4328 is just below M100. Here is the SharpCap Deep Sky Image Annotation.
It was about 1:30 AM, I was ready to call it a night, but I decided to try for one more. Finally M101! I have tried to capture this one on several other nights but it has always been too low or in some thin clouds.
M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy, a face-on spiral galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major. This is a live stack of 60 x 15 second exposures at 450 gain.
Then I called it a night and went out to pack in the gear at about 1:50 AM. It was still pretty warm out, in the low 50s/upper 40s. A great fun night doing some EAA observing and adding a few more to my Messier Log.
There is some winter weather moving in tomorrow (crazy since it was 70 yesterday and suppose to be 70 today). I’ll probably pack the scope away tonight, when I set back up I am going to try out some EAA with my 6″ Celestron SCT. With a focal reducer it is about the same focal ratio of the AT66ED, but it has 3.5″ more light gathering aperture (the AT66 is 2.5″). Looking forward to see what I can see with it.