Nightscapes & Deep Sky
Brian A. Morganti
The Sculptor Galaxy (also known as the
Silver Coin or Silver Dollar Galaxy, NGC 253, or
Caldwell 65) is an
intermediate spiral galaxy in the
Sculptor. The Sculptor Galaxy is a
starburst galaxy, which means that it is currently undergoing a
period of intense star formation. The galaxy is estimated to be
approximately 11.4 million light years from Earth, but can be easily
seen in binoculars...particularly from more southerly latitudes or
modest dark sky locations.
NGC 288 is the Globular Cluster shown in the lower
left portion of this image and is located about 1.8 degrees
southeast of the Sculptor Galaxy. Both of these objects are
located very close to the south Galactic Pole.
Date & Location: December 24th, 2011
- Bernville, PA
Weather: Calm wind, Temperature
range 28F to 25F.
Sky Conditions: Mostly clear with
SQM-L: Average 20.17
Optics: TeleVue NP101is Refractor
with Field Flattener (540mm f5.4)
Filter: Hutech IDAS-LPS (Light
Mount: AstroPhysics AP900GTO
Guiding: Tracked, but not guided.
Camera: Canon 5D M2 unmodified
Exposure: 22 - 4 minute subs @
ISO800 - total 88 minutes
Calibration Frames: none...sub freezing
Processing: Images Plus 3.82,
PS CS4, Noise
Ninja, GradientXTerminator, NIK
Comments: These object lie low on
my southern horizon and are difficult to resolve clearly due to
atmospherics as well as light-pollution near the horizon.
The light pollution was farther enhanced by the myriad of
Christmas lights illuminating the sky this time of year. I
used the Canon 5D M2 in order to take advantage of the full
frame sensor to fit both objects within the image frame.
The downside of this was the introduction of a significant light
gradient variation from south to north across the image frame
which had to be meticulously removed...thanks to the power of
Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors