Wednesday, January 09, 2008

M81... first half hearted attempt

I'm quite pleased with this.
I thought I'd have a go at a classic spiral galaxy, so I tried Messier 81 (M81, NGC 3031) in Ursa Major.
The clouds were beginning to roll in so I quickly found it using the Celestron 'Precise GOTO' technique, and it was bang on. This part of the sky for me is pointing towards Swindon town centre and suffers from light pollution, so I just rattled off a half dozen 30sec 1600ISO subs, which was all I had time for. The subs didn't look that good, so I wasn't expecting too much from them.

But I've just processed them using dark, flats and biases from my M1 Crab Nebula session (should've done some on the night but I couldn't be arsed). I was amazed how well it turned out, all things considered.

I'll dispense with the focal reducer next time and see if I can push it up to 1 minute subs without guiding, and do a range of ISO's with some proper darks etc. ;-)

Six subs, what a camera!

Here's a nice Hubble view.