Messier 51, also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy is a face on spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici located about 30 million light years away from us.
I ended up with 98 frames at 300 seconds. I managed to get three days over three weeks to be able to image this. I was hoping to get more time on this target but decided to take what I have and process it. I calibrated this with about 35 darks, flats, and flat darks.
The following processes were performed in PixInsight:
- Channel Extraction
- Linear Fit
- Channel Combination
- Dynamic Crop
- Dynamic Background Extraction
- Background Neutralization
- Photometric Color Calibration
- TGV Denoise
- Multiscale Median Transform
- Histogram Transformation
- LRGB Combination
- Curves Transformation (X2 with a range mask. Inverted mask for the background and then non inverted for the target)
- Color Saturation (X2 with a range mask. Inverted mask for the background and then non inverted for the target)
- Curves Transformation (Using Luminance and Binary masks created using the GAME script)
- SCNR (Removed Green)
- EZ Star Reduction
- Local Histogram Equalization (Performed with a range mask)
- HDR Multiscale Transform
Here you can see the area of the sky in Canes Venatici imaged.
- Telescope: Explore Scientific FCD100 Series 127mm f/7.5 Carbon Fiber Triplet ED APO Refractor Telescope
- Camera: ZWO ASI2600MC Pro
- Guiding: ZWO Off-Axis Guider with Helical Focuser
- Guide Camera: ZWO ASI290MM Mini. Dithering every image at 1 pixel each time.
- Mount: iOptron CEM60
- Software: NINA for image acquisition. PixInsight used for stacking and editing. Imported to Photoshop for final touchup and watermarking.
- Other Accessories: AstroZap Dew Heater, Astro-Tech 2″ Flattener, MoonLite CFL 2.5″ Focuser with a V3 Controller, PrimaLuceLab Eagle 4S
- Filters: Optolong L-Pro (98 x 300s)
- Exposure Time: 8 hours 10 minutes -10°C
- Date: June, 05, 16 & 17, 2021
- Location: Voorhees State Park, NJ
- Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 4
- Mean SQM: 20.29
- RA center: 13h 29′ 53″
- DEC center: +47° 12′ 5″
- Orientation:-178.867 degrees
- Field radius:0.779 degrees
- Magnitude: 8.4
- Resolution: 3720 x 2330