Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mini Messier Marathon: M52, M103, and M33 (Triangulum Galaxy)

The last time I stacked images of Cassiopeia, I knew I wanted to go back to get some tighter shots. So many cool things to see! No surprise, this area of sky sits over the plane of the Milky Way, so there's always interesting objects nearby.

Here is a closer shot of M103, an open cluster in Cassiopeia. It's practically surrounded by other interesting New General Catalogue (NGC) objects!

M103 deep sky open cluster
62 subs, 22 darks, 33 bias, each at 160mm, 1.6 sec, ISO 1600, f/5.0

M103 open cluster
20 subs, 17 darks, 20 bias, each at 300mm, 1.3sec, ISO 1600, f/5.6
Star clusters aside, let's try something a little harder. Here is my first attempt at the Triangulum Galaxy. Based on its magnitude, it should be an easy target - but it's very spread out and yet doesn't have a bright core like Andromeda. In fact, I couldn't even find this sucker with an 8 second exposure. I had to rely on the anchor stars nearby to be sure I was even in the right area - and finally a faint object emerged after (quite a bit of) post processing. I had some serious gradient issues in the middle of this frame, and I don't think I handled it very well.

M33 triangulum galaxy
227 subs, 94 subs, 126 bias, each at ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1.3 sec, 300mm
And finally, although this is a little anticlimactic, here is M52, a dim open cluster in Cassiopeia. Wah-waaaah. Check another one off the list.

M52 open cluster
112 subs, 17 darks, 20 bias, each at 300mm, 1.3sec, ISO 1600, f/5.6

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