Tuesday, May 20, 2014

6 Messier Objects in One Shot Near 6 Com

I found an extremely busy area of the sky inside Coma Berenices that is littered with galaxies and other Messier catalogue objects. I aimed my Canon T5i at a relatively bright star 6 Com and let it click away for 10 minutes (I actually set a timer for 10 minutes and let it go).

The result was a HUGE image mosaic of stars smearing across my computer screen. I cropped the file down to the least smeared patch and ran it through Astrometry.net, which helped me identify 6 Messier objects all in the same image. The large image is below, sliced into smaller pieces as identified by the white boxes.

6 Com region of the sky, 4 min 22 sec total exposure time, stack of 197 subs, 71 dark, 53 bias
300mm, ISO 6400, f/5.6, 1.3 sec each
M86 and M84
M86 and M84

M88 and M100
M88 and M100

M99 the Pin-Wheel Nebula, and M98
M99 the Pin-Wheel Nebula, and M98 (just barely).
Ok, so I'm maxing out on gray blobs here, but I'm at 300mm so I can't get any closer with my DSLR right now. I guess these will have to count until I get my EQ mount up and running. Still counts!

This haul brings my Messier total to 62 out of 110!

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