19.3.17

galaxia remolino

Discovered in 1773, by Charles Messier and designated M51, its companion galaxy ngc5159 was discovered in 1781 by Pierre Méchain. It was not until 1845 that William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, using a 72-inch reflector at Birr Castle in Ireland saw the spiral structure, the first nebula to be known to have one.
galaxy m51 whirlpool in canes venatici
700d + pn208    34x180s @ ISO800


Parsons' drawing

praesepe

Around 600 light years away, one of the closest clusters to us.
cluster m44 the beehive in cancer
700d + pn208 astrograph   22x90s @ ISO800

the giraffe

Had a go this time last year with the 152s refractor. Nice to revisit it with guiding albeit with balance critical DEC being so close to the pole.
galaxy ngc2403 in cameleopardalis
700d + pn208   32x180s @ ISO800

es pn208 globular cluster

Milky Way companions. Testing how well I had the reflector collimated, the stars look quite nice. As it was 34000 years ago...
globular cluster m3 in canes venatici
canon 700d + es pn208 astrograph    13x90s @ ISO800

messier 97 and 108

Lord Rosse drew the planetary nebula in 1848 after Méchain's discovery in 1781. It looked like an owl's face, hence the owl nebula. The spiral m108 is viewed almost edge on hence the spiral is lost. The owl, a star at the end of its life, is in our own galaxy at a distance of 2000 light years. the galaxy, 45000 light years away.
l to r planetary nebula m97 el buho and galaxy m108 in ursa major
canon 700d + pn208   21x180s @ ISO800

17.3.17

pn208 m81 m82

Third time lucky, I had around 90 minutes before moon rise to grab these galaxies. 12 million light years distant, one friendly and one rather uninviting place to call home. I wonder what it's like looking at us from over there?
galaxies m81 and m82 bode and el puro in ursa major
700d + pn208  34 x 150s @ISO800


m82 detail

11.3.17

m50

2 days to full moon and enough light to read the newspaper comfortably, I surrendered all aspirations to snap a galaxy and instead decided to test edgar@PHD2's new ppec beta 3. Not too bad, despite the moonlight wrecking the starlight.
open cluster m50 in monoceros
700d and pn208  10x90s + 20x60s @ ISO800
Even lower and with dangerously horizontal telescopes...
open cluster m41 in canis major
700d and pn208  12x60s @ ISO800