Saturday, April 5, 2014

M81 (Bode's Galaxy) and M82 (Cigar Galaxy) with DSLR on Fixed Tripod

Using my tried and true DSLR on fixed tripod technique to stack hundreds of light, dark, and bias frames in Deep Sky Stacker produced an image I never thought I'd see without a telescope and tracking mount: 3 galaxies in one shot. Very cool! I'm still amazed what a simple DSLR on a fixed tripod can do.

M82 M81 galaxies with DSLR
Stack of 303 subs, 76 darks, 71 bias frames at ISO 3200, 300mm, f/5.6, 1.6 sec
Total exposure time after stacking approx 5 min

M82 M81 galaxies with DSLR
Same image as above with labels
Because these galaxies are so close to the celestial pole, they didn't appear to move as fast as objects near the celestial equator. I definitely took advantage of this and increase my exposure time to 1.6 seconds instead of my usual 1.3 seconds.

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