Clears skies lets photograph Galaxy Messier 51
It amazes me that with a telesope lens smaller than the palm of my hand i can capture a galaxy 31 million lights years away, now it is not as simple as pointing and a click of camera as there is a lot more at play when doing astrophotography for deep space objects (DSO).
The setup of an astrophotography rig can be as litle as a smartphone with a tripod or the large telescopes on mountain tops in multimillion dollar observatories. My setup is somewhat of a beginners setup still, but it still costs an arm and leg to get into this hobby.
My gear consists of a 72mm evostar telescope by skywatcher & an AVX mount by Celeston with guide scope camera combo to keep the tracking of an object nice and centred. The above image is made up of 21 x 4min exposures captured on a dedicated Altair 183c one shot colour astrocam, the software i use is sharpcap which has a function to stack the images on the fly but i do this later on using a few other software packages.
Anyway enough about the gear and lets get back to the picture, this picture is not one galaxy but two main galaxies that are interacting and a 3rd tiny background galaxy in the lower right IC 4263 which i whopping 130,000,000 light years away, this light set off when dinosaurs still roamed the earth :-). There is a few bright stars in this image but my main goal was Messier 51 the Whirlpool galaxy.
I will be getting the big scope setup for astrophotography this month and may revisit this target so i can get some more resolution on it but for now i am happy, if you wanna check out some of my other images i host them at telescopius under Lancastrian Astro
If you have any ideas for targets in the northern hemisphere for the upcoming Spring aka Galaxy season let me know in the comments.