Friday, February 19, 2010

Owl Nebula (M97) & M108 Galaxy

This is my single most amount of DSLR data in a single session or night to date.
5min (300s) x 42 = 3.5 hours at ISO 1600

For those not yet introduced to this part of the sky.  M97, the Owl Nebula, is a planetary nebula with a small (visible in this image) 16th mag central star that has gone supernova.  It has pushed out two lobes of space amongst the shell of gas that make the nebula appear like owl eyes.

In the lower right is a
nearly edge-on galaxy, Sc type galaxy and about 45 million light years distant.

Optics: Meade LXD55 6" Schmidt Newtonian OTA
Mount: CGE mount on JMI Wheely Bars
Camera: Canon XTi with Hutech LP Filter (LPS-P2-FF)
Focusing Aid: STI focuser
Shutter control: Hap Griffin long exposure cable
Software: MaximDL
Guiding: DMK21AF04 with a piggybacked 4" SkyWatcher via PHD and ASCOM drivers
Operating System: WinXP Lenovo T61 driven via RDP remotely
Pre-Processing: Iris per automated Jim Solomon's Cookbook
Post-Processing: PS CS2 with tips from Jerry Lodriguss

Small PS, the AAPOD today is the same field of view, but much better done!  'Grats!

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Loving husband, proud father, computer geek, astro freak, music lover, sports nut and general fun-loving guy

I've always loved facts, provable facts of nature and things concerning science.  

Over time, I found that most facts are mostly reference and it was the creation of and discovery of new things that intrigued me.

"A good friend once told me you are our memory
without them we equal nothing
And all I can see is the place I wanna be
Suddenly my life was so free
Leaves at my feet, blown to the ground
their echoes are reaching my ears
Nights coming fast, suns going down" - A7x