Monday, July 15, 2013

Accidental M3 Globular Cluster

I thought I was shooting M64 the Black-eye Galaxy in more detail after spotting it in a wider shot the night before (see previous post). I focused my 300mm lens on the moon, and then just started scanning the sky at ISO 1600 for 8 sec looking for a fuzzy blob. When I found one in the general area I was looking for, I figured it must be M64 - but I was wrong. I was actually about 15 degrees above M64 looking at M3 a globular cluster.

I mean, hey I'll take it! This explains why my "galaxy" wasn't processing well in Deep Sky Stacker - it just looked like a little ball. No wonder, it is a cluster not a galaxy! I didn't figure it out until I had Astrometry.net label my image. Now I have to wait for another clear night to try for M64 again.

m3 globular cluster
95 subs, 30 darks, each at ISO 1600, 1.3 sec, f/5.6, 300mm

m3 globular cluster
Single exposure at ISO 1600 for 8 sec to help me locate the fuzzy glob

Wouldn't have known it was M3 without Astrometry.net labeling my photo for me

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