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My best Messier 81 yet

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#1 Madratter

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 08:22 PM

I am slowly getting better at both acquiring my data and at processing. This is my best version of Messier 81 yet. I am particularly happy with how much better the color is this time. The detail is a little better as well.

In addition to the usual suspects of Messier 81 and Holmberg IX (barely visible), there is a small galaxy at the bottom right that looks VERY blue and yet very far away. That is PGC 28848, which is magnitude 16.3 in blue.

M81 on Astrobin

There is 2.2 hours of data in this, taken with my Celestron Powerstar C8 deforked on a Celestron CG-5 mount. I used my STF-8300m camera with Baader LRGB filters. I took much more data than this, but lost most of it to dew after I went to bed.

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#2 zerro1

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 08:27 PM

Nice Work! :like:

#3 dgcms

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 08:31 PM

Excellent! Thanks for posting.

#4 Smack

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 09:43 PM

Very nice!

#5 LazyLightning

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:07 AM

Good Job!

#6 shawnhar

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:23 AM

Looks good, congrats!

#7 Madratter

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 09:26 AM

Thanks everyone. The encouragement is appreciated. :)

#8 CounterWeight

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 11:19 AM

Very nice :) !

You need to get yourself a dew heater for that, sorry to hear about the lost subs. I use the Orion controller and strips and it worked well with my C11.

#9 rigel123

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 04:31 PM

That's a beautiful shot!

#10 DaemonGPF

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 04:45 PM

If you've got Holmberg on there then you're getting fairly deep. If you're shooting full focal length with a C8 on a CG-5 I am super impressed.

#11 Madratter

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:52 AM

Thanks again!

If you've got Holmberg on there then you're getting fairly deep. If you're shooting full focal length with a C8 on a CG-5 I am super impressed.


I'm shooting with a f/6.3 focal reducer, and the only way I can get acceptable results with the CG-5 is to polar align well enough that I basically take the declination axis out of the equation.

I would love to replace the mount (although I love the CG-5 for visual), but I just don't currently have the scratch.

With this outfit from where I am shooting, I routinely pull in 19th magnitude stars.

#12 DaemonGPF

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:48 AM

There are some tweaks you can do to the CG-5 that are cheap to free which can help it along. When I had mine I disassembled it and regreased everything with better lubricant. The factory stuff might as well be road tar. I made very minor adjustments to better mesh the gears. After that it was a matter of the usual stuff, adjusting backlash settings and balance of course. Those minor tweaks allowed me to more than double my exposure times with an acceptable amount of discards. I was shooting mostly at 700-800mm with it though. Longest exposure I took with the CG-5 guided was 20 mins, and I got a handful out of it with a high rate of discards, but at 5-6 mins I kept over 80% easily.

#13 Jeff2011

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 10:47 AM

Great image. I take my hat off to you LRGB guys. I don't yet have the patience to do that yet.

#14 woolbrig

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 07:46 AM

Nice job!

#15 Madratter

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 08:45 AM

Thanks Jeff. Thanks Joe.

#16 SergeC

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 04:49 PM

Impressive image, great detail.






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