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April 2019 Imaging Challenge - M63 Sunflower Galaxy

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31 replies to this topic

#1 nmoushon

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 10:21 AM

The April 2019 Challenge is now open. The target is M63, Sunflower Galaxy. To reduce the number of stickies, please submit your entry to this thread.

 

The Rules will remain pretty simple:

      Your Equipment
      Your Data, Captured This Season
      Your Processing
      One Entry Per Member

To increase participation over such a diverse group, the winner will be selected by random drawing. Please feel free to start a thread requesting guidance on your entry prior to submitting it, the whole purpose of this challenge is to learn and compare on a common target. Entries must be submitted by midnight eastern time on April 30, and I will try to announce the winner early in May. Note: If I am late announcing, gently nudge one of the moderators in a private note, it helps wink.gif

Please display an image in your post, not just a link!!

 

I hope everyone has fun with this one, and with that,

 

Let The Games Begin

**Disclaimer** - If the selected winner does not reply and pick a target with-in 3 days of the winner being announced the Mods will then select the next target.


 

#2 Gene3

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 12:06 AM

The April 2019 Challenge is now open. The target is M63, Sunflower Galaxy. To reduce the number of stickies, please submit your entry to this thread.

 

The Rules will remain pretty simple:

      Your Equipment
      Your Data, Captured This Season
      Your Processing
      One Entry Per Member

To increase participation over such a diverse group, the winner will be selected by random drawing. Please feel free to start a thread requesting guidance on your entry prior to submitting it, the whole purpose of this challenge is to learn and compare on a common target. Entries must be submitted by midnight eastern time on April 30, and I will try to announce the winner early in May. Note: If I am late announcing, gently nudge one of the moderators in a private note, it helps wink.gif

Please display an image in your post, not just a link!!

 

I hope everyone has fun with this one, and with that,

 

Let The Games Begin

**Disclaimer** - If the selected winner does not reply and pick a target with-in 3 days of the winner being announced the Mods will then select the next target.

3 days seriously??????

If the "winner" cannot respond in less than 2 days then I say we move on. You are either in this or you are not.


 

#3 nmoushon

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 10:05 AM

3 days seriously??????

If the "winner" cannot respond in less than 2 days then I say we move on. You are either in this or you are not.

You cannot predict all the circumstance that could prevent someone from logging in for 3 days. Its really not that long of a time. If 3 days is going to ruin this for you then you are clearly missing the entire point of the "Challenge" to begin with. 

Its 3 days. Take it or leave it. Its up to you.


 

#4 Gene3

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 10:03 AM

You cannot predict all the circumstance that could prevent someone from logging in for 3 days. Its really not that long of a time. If 3 days is going to ruin this for you then you are clearly missing the entire point of the "Challenge" to begin with. 

Its 3 days. Take it or leave it. Its up to you.

I get it. Sorry that my message had a harsh tone to it. I can certainly wait the 3 days for a new target to be selected.

I was just impatient and wanted to get started on the next target  (new moon coming up).

I really enjoy this monthly challenge and appreciate your work to make it happen.

 

Best Regards,

Gene


 

#5 Gipht

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 05:49 PM

There was a break in the clouds last night for just over an hour.  This picture was taken with a  modified Canon t3i,   using an Orion 10" f/3.9, on a guided iOptron CEM-60 mount.  69 minutes total integration,  with 30 sec to 2 min exposures, at 800 ISO.  Dark, flat, and bias calibration files were used.  The picture was developed using DSS, Star Tools, and Gimp.  Sort of wide field for a Galaxy target.  Click on the picture for a better look.

Attached Thumbnails

  • m63t3iorg.jpg

Edited by Gipht, 05 April 2019 - 05:50 PM.

 

#6 elmiko

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 06:11 PM

Taken from red zone backyard Mar 14 and Apr 4

AstroTech 92 Triplet f/5.5 AT2FF

Atik 420 osc -10c

77 300sec subs dithered

50 bias 30 darks 30 flats

Captured with Nebulosity 4

Processed with Pixinsite

Attached Thumbnails

  • M63AT92_New_final.jpg

 

#7 hwhitlow

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 03:25 PM

There was a break in the clouds last night for just over an hour.  This picture was taken with a  modified Canon t3i,   using an Orion 10" f/3.9, on a guided iOptron CEM-60 mount.  69 minutes total integration,  with 30 sec to 2 min exposures, at 800 ISO.  Dark, flat, and bias calibration files were used.  The picture was developed using DSS, Star Tools, and Gimp.  Sort of wide field for a Galaxy target.  Click on the picture for a better look.

Great shot!  Hmm, there's an item near the bottom left of center that looks like a galaxy but doesn't show on my Sky Guide app.


 

#8 GoBlue

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 07:11 PM

Imaged 3/4

 

ES ed80 triplet apo. F/6 - 480mm fl.

Full spectrum modified T3i with IDAS LPS D1.

AVX mount.

BYEOS, PHD2, DSS and basic PS processing.

 

48 x 120 lights. 12 darks and 15 flats.

ISO 800.

Camera sensor temp +2c.

Peace.

Attached Thumbnails

  • sunflower-2.jpg

 

#9 AKHalea

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 09:44 PM

We had a break from the cloudy rainy weather we have had for months. I took the opportunity yesterday to capture this beautiful flower-like galaxy. Here is my rendition : 

 

4-9 M63 csc 146Min STCr1JCN.jpg

 

Capture details : 

OTA : Stellarvue 105 Triplet fitted with an SV Field Flattener,

Mount : iOptron iEQ 30Pro, 

Filter : 2" Orion Skyglow Imaging filter to cut skyglow (LP) from Houston's light dome,

Imaging camera : H-Alpha modded Nikon D5300 (unguided),

ISO 400, f7, 146 minutes of total integration time (109x80sec),

Preprocessed in APP (AstroPixel Processor) and post processing in StarTools,

Final tweaks & 50% crop in FastStone Image processor.

 

Clear skies ..... Anil


Edited by AKHalea, 10 April 2019 - 09:52 PM.

 

#10 cuivienor

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 04:06 AM

Taken from Tokyo super white zone backyard on April 12th 2019.

ASI1600MM-C

EdgeHD 800 with reducer

Vixen AXJ with encoders

NINA capture software

189 x 30s unguided with L filter

Processed in PixInsight

Attached Thumbnails

  • M63_Processed_gimped_small.jpg

 

#11 GraySkies

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 10:41 PM

You cannot predict all the circumstance that could prevent someone from logging in for 3 days. Its really not that long of a time. If 3 days is going to ruin this for you then you are clearly missing the entire point of the "Challenge" to begin with. 

Its 3 days. Take it or leave it. Its up to you.

Perhaps when people submit their image, they post what they want the next month target to be? I'm sure most if not all astrophotographers are able to look ahead in a sky app / star chart and pick a suitable target for the next month... would cut down on chasing up the winner; plus you'd get an idea as a beginner what kind of targets people are thinking about the next month which would be useful... just a thought.


Edited by GraySkies, 13 April 2019 - 10:43 PM.

 

#12 Hare314

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 07:24 AM

ES127ED

QHY168c

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • M63_F7.5_20190325.jpg

 

#13 BABOafrica

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 10:24 AM

M63

 

25 x 120s

 

C8 on Atlas EQ-G with Fuji X-A1 (iso6400)

 

Orion SSAG for guiding

 

Processed with DSS and StarTools

 

M63 7APR19 25x120s F64 C8 jhz ST.jpg

 

 

Joe


 

#14 johnsoda

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 08:42 PM

Click on small thumbnail for better image and acquisition details:

 

get.jpg?insecure

 

M63small.png


 

#15 jerahian

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:52 AM

A close-up of our beautiful sunflower...

 

EdgeHD 8, AVX mount, ASI1600MM-COOL, ZWO LRGB filters, 6.325h total integration time, and processed mildly in PI.

 

Sunflower Galaxy Closeup

 

-Ara


 

#16 MCO Pilot Astronomer

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 07:24 PM

Final M63

 

Captured on March 7th from Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park in South Central Florida. ASI183MC on a Explore Scientific 80mm Carbon Fiber Triplet, Hotech Flattener. I haven't been using an IR Cut Filter but based on many posts here I will in the future. 52 exposures of 2 mins each, stacked and processed in PixInsight.

 

My favorite part of this image is the 2 galaxies top left and bottom right. I don't like the gradient from the mid to lower right. Amp glow but I couldn't get it to process out 100%, even with flats. 

 

https://astrob.in/396209/0/


Edited by MCO Pilot Astronomer, 19 April 2019 - 07:25 PM.

 

#17 Kkiixx

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 02:20 AM

Taken on 4/20/2019 Starting at 21:20 central time. 37 miles east of Kansas City Missouri

 

6" Celestron Newtonian (vixen r150s)

Meade DSI Pro

Omni cg-4 mount with R.A. Tracking Motor

IR Filter

 

30 second subs

27 lights

35 darks

13.5 minutes total exposure

 

DSS

Photoshop

 

m63Sunflower2.png


Edited by Kkiixx, 21 April 2019 - 02:22 AM.

 

#18 martinbracken

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 06:16 AM

A poor effort I know but with Moonlit night washed out in Chelmsford Essex but probably the only chance this month I'm going to get to post this month.

27 subs 2 minutes

darks, flats, bias,

Celeston 6se with focal reducer

Canon 450d unmodified

Basic processing in Star tools

Attached Thumbnails

  • M63.jpg

 

#19 Cbingham129

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 12:52 AM

I tried this target last night, it was my first time connecting me mount to the laptop and dithering.  All went well until my battery died only 10 frames into a 60 frame plan!  

 

Equipment used:

Orion 8" F/3.9 astrograph

Celestron CGEM mount

QHY 163c camera

Astronomik CLS filter

 

120 second subs X 10

10 darks

15 flat

no bias

 

Processed with Startools.

 

Not too shabby for only 20 minutes!!

Attached Thumbnails

  • sunflower6.jpg

Edited by Cbingham129, 23 April 2019 - 12:53 AM.

 

#20 rexrobichaux

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 08:24 AM

Finally able to get some sky time last night. Unfortunately, M63 rises right through the DC Metro light dome in our Bortle 7.5 skies so I got what I could. Overall pretty happy with how it turned out for 2 hrs of total time. Might try to get more data later this week if we get another clear night.  It's certainly a unique and beautiful galaxy!

 

GSO RC-8", Orion .80x reducer to make ~1300mm @ F/6.3

Nikon D5300 Modded

Skywatcher EQ6R Mount

Orion 50mm Guidescope and starguider cam.

 

21x360" Lights (dithered)

40 Darks

40 Flats

125 Bias. 

 

APT for capture, PHD for guiding, DSS for stacking, Startools for processing, and Lightroom CC for final refinements.

 

med_gallery_300588_10263_834430.jpg

 

M63 The Sunflower Galaxy from Front Yard

Edited by rexrobichaux, 23 April 2019 - 08:29 AM.

 

#21 GraySkies

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 10:23 PM

Okay, I managed to get the Sunflower Galaxy Last Night during my RedCat51 Testing and Review...
Clouds rolled in on what was suppose to be a "clear night" so I didn't have an opportunity to swap over to the 8" EdgeHD.... I grab this as I slowly watched the clouds roll in from the west...

 

Lots of Firsts last Night - First Time Guiding (and it worked), Using the Polemaster (Nailed Polar Alignment), RedCat51 on a GEM Mount, Using Pixinsight (unaided)

Sunflower 2.jpg

 

Equipment:

 

Losmandy GM8 - Modified and Upgraded for AP in Canadian Weather by Eric LeMay (https://www.deepspacephotography.com/)

Imaging Camera - Nikon Z6 24MP 5.94um square pixel pitch

Imaging Scope - William Optics RedCat51 (250mm f4.9) [The Hoya UV Filter was on the front - Whoops]

 

Guiding Scope - William Optics Zenith Star 80mm II ED with Field Flatterner IV (436mm f5.44)

Guide Camera - Orion Autoguider 

8 x 300sec Lights (40 minutes)

9 x 300sec Darks

ISO 800

 

Pixinsight for Master Dark, Alignment, Stacking, Automatic Background Extraction

Adobe - Final Stretch, ABE Subtraction, Camera Raw Filter for Adjusting Colour/Saturation etc.

[If I'm selected for May Target my suggestion is the Great Hercules Star Cluster]


Edited by GraySkies, 24 April 2019 - 11:02 AM.

 

#22 Juno18

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 08:54 PM

Hi Everyone,

 

Haven’t logged on in awhile and saw this post. Sounded like fun!

 

Galaxy Messier 63
Distance: 29 million light years

Shot in March 2019. First meridian flip. Guiding went well.

 

Full res: https://flic.kr/p/2fhpd8b

 

Equipment/Software:
Explore Scientific ED 102 APO
Celestron Advanced VX Mount
Orion Starshoot Autoguider on Orion 50 mm guidescope
Nikon D3300 (unmodified)
80 images at 120 seconds at iso 800
DeepskyStacker - Startools

Attached Thumbnails

  • E53FCA60-95AE-45DB-9EEC-F4DECFFEFFBA.jpeg

Edited by Juno18, 24 April 2019 - 08:56 PM.

 

#23 dec12252

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 01:32 PM

Here is my contribution to this month's M63 challenge.

 

Scope: AP130 f/6

Mount: AP900

Camera: ASI1600MM-Pro

Sky: Bortle Class 8 (light polluted suburbia)

LRGB Filters: ZWO

3x10min subs each RGB channel

6X5min subs L channel

10 Darks

10 Flats

Processed in Pixinsight

 

Dave

Attached Thumbnails

  • M63 4-24-19.jpg

 

#24 Bretw01

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 09:33 PM

Finally got a chance to image this target on 4-26-2019. Ran into several problems that limited my total integration time, got nowhere near what I wanted or thought I would get. 42 minutes total.

 

Still learning the EQ6-R Pro, this was my third time using it. For some reason it kept giving me calibration stars near the horizon that were all behind trees or houses, even though there were plenty of bright stars overhead (Pollox, Arcturus, Regulus, Procyon). Lost about 45 minutes there. If I get a clear night near the full moon I have to learn plate-solving.

 

After getting the sequence started, 6 or 7 frames in, PHD2 stopped and had to be restarted. Pulse command error. 22 frames in and was at 100% cloud cover, even though the forecast said clear until 2 am which would have given me 4-5 hours.

 

Spent several hours processing, still having trouble calibrating the starburst from the sensor out. About 3/4 of the way through post-processing PI unexpectedly shut down, had to start over.

 

ASI183MC-Pro

EQ6-R Pro

SVQ100

PHD2-SSAG 80mm guide scope

SGP

21 x 120 Gain 50

30 darks

30 flats

75 bias

 

M63_2nd_trySCNR.jpg

 

Thanks for looking.

 

Bret


Edited by Bretw01, 27 April 2019 - 09:34 PM.

 

#25 tomlindquist

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 04:28 PM

Here's my effort on April's M63 challenge:

Equipment:

     Celestron AVX mount and 8" f/5 Newtonian scope

     Starlight Xpress Ultrastar C camera

Data:

     66x  120sec.  (net132minutes)  10darks  4/27/19

Process:

     Nebulosity 4;  Gimp 2.10.8

 

M63 was a fun challenge and I learned some things!

Attached Thumbnails

  • M 63 66x120s34f NebGmp CN2final.jpg

 


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