StormEffects

Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti


M33 - Triangulum Galaxy

aka Pinwheel Galaxy

Triangulum

 

 

 

The Triangulum Galaxy, also known as the Pinwheel Galaxy, is a beautiful face on spiral galaxy 2.3 million light years away, about the same distance as the the Great Andromeda Galaxy.  However, it's diameter of 50,000 light years is only a third the size of Andromeda, so it appears much smaller thru binoculars or telescopes.  Several small red emission nebulae are evident in this image with the largest (NGC 604) visible at the edge of an outer arm of the galaxy in the lower left center of the image. This region of hydrogen gas glows red, illuminated by 200 young stars at its center.  Small in appearance here, it is actually four times larger than the famous Orion Nebula, but resides 2,000 times farther away within the Triangulum galaxy.

M33 covers an apparent area of sky bigger than the full moon, but it also has a relatively low surface brightness. From a dark-sky site under good conditions, it can be seen by keen-eyed observers without optical aid. It is probably the most distant object that can be seen with the naked eye at a distance of 3 million light years, slightly farther than its much brighter neighbor, M31, the Andromeda Galaxy.

IMAGE DETAILS:

  • Date & Location:  October 6, 7, 8, & 9th, 2011 - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Calm wind, Average temperature all four mornings 40F.

  • Sky Conditions:  Average to above average transparency. 

  • SQM-L: Average Start 20:30 / Stop 20:49

  • Optics:  TeleVue NP101is Refractor with 1.5x extender 810mm @ f8.1

  • Filter:  Astronomic  EOS clip-in CLS-CCD (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  AstroPhysics AP900GTO

  • Guiding:  None PEM active

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500D) Hap Griffin Modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  335 min (5 hours 35 min) 11 x 5min / 35 x 8 min @ ISO 1600 RAW

  • Calibration Frames:  16 Dark Frames & 16 Bias Frames

  • Processing:  Images Plus 3.82, PS CS4, Noise Ninja, GradientXTerminator, NIK 

  • Comments:  Images were captured over a four night period from October 6, 7, 8, and 9th 2011 during the early morning hours after moonset.  Images were then stacked and aligned in Images Plus and then further enhanced within Photoshop. 

 

 

The below image was captured previously on a less accurate mount

with a much shorter total exposure.

 

 

 

IMAGE DETAILS:

  • Date & Location:  December 16, 2009 (evening) - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Calm wind, 28F.

  • Sky Conditions:  Scattered Cirrus clouds with average transparency. 

  • Optics:  TeleVue NP101is Refractor with 0.8x TeleVue Reducer = 432mm @ f4.3

  • Filter:  Astronomic  EOS clip-in CLS-CCD (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  Losmandy G-11 equatorial with Gemini V4

  • Guiding:  Orion Solitaire w/TeleVue TV60is

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500D) Hap Griffin Modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  120 min (15 x 8 min) @ ISO 800 RAW

  • Calibration Frames:  No dark frame subtraction (28F)

  • Processing:  Photoshop CS4, Noise Ninja, GradientXTerminator, NIK 

  • Comments:  Cirrus covered a good part of the sky resulting in loss of signal, tracking issues evident as well. 

 

                                                                        

Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

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