Sunday, May 25, 2014

M94 and M53 with DSLR for May Observing List

The May Observing List motivated me to catch M53 for a second time, and M94 for my first time. Just like last time, I used α Com just below M53 as an anchor star to help me compose my shot in a way that would let me take multiple photos back to back while keeping the blob in frame.

M53 messier object
1 min 22 sec total exposure, stack of 82 subs, 71 darks, 53 bias at ISO 6400, 1.3 sec, 300mm, f/5.6

M53 messier object
Original (uncropped) same as above

M94 was new to me, but I located it without much trouble. There is a small asterism (6 stars, each around mag 8.5) only 1° from M94 that looks like a kite or a magnifying glass. Composing my shot based on this asterism made it much easier to ensure M94 stayed in frame while taking multiple photos back to back.

M94 messier object
Stack of 195 subs, 71 darks, 53 bias, ISO 6400, 1.3 sec, 300mm, f/5.6
The asterism was obvious enough for me to make note of it in my observing notes, which mostly consist of acquisition settings for my DSLR. Whenever I do a bunch of Messier Objects in the same night, I can't always tell them apart until after processing - so I started writing down the order and settings for each one

asterism near M94
My asterism reminder in my observing notes

M94 brings my Messier total to 63 objects!

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