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Offline Suburban Skies

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M104 - Sombrero galaxy...
« on: 14:54:44, 26 April, 2018 »

Date: 18th & 19th April 2018
Equipment: SXV-H9, Vixen 114mm f5.3 ED refractor, NEQ6 mount, guiding with Lodestar X2/PHD
Subframes: 70 x 200s luminance, 5 x 200s each for RGB 2 x 2 binned), 20 darks and bias frames, 20 flats for each channel (image stacking, hot pixel and gradient removal in Astroart, curves and colour composition in Paint Shop Pro).

I had never attempted to image this galaxy before, and thought it might be a bit of a challenge given its low location in the southern sky, which for me is also blighted by light pollution from the Aurora Maidstonealis.  M104 is quite a small object (in visual terms, of course!) for a relatively small aperture but I was curious to see how it would turn out. 

In terms of imaging, I find that light pollution filters don't really offer any contrast boosting effect, and that image processing seems to be a better option to offset light sky backgrounds. 

Given that these were the first clear nights in nearly six weeks I couldn't really ignore the opportunity even though the seeing wasn't great and the sky not truly dark (high haze, I think). On the plus side, the moon was new and caused no glare problems.  Nevertheless, the conditions led to somewhat noisy sub-frames with gradients that I scrubbed up as best I could using the nifty Astroart gradient removal plug-in, plus noise flattening in PaintShop Pro (curves and edge preserving smooth).  I don't normally bother with dark frames but it did seem to help with the background noise in this case.  My ancient SXV-H9 camera is not set-point cooling regulated and so maybe the warmer weather is adding a dose of electronic noise to my subs.

The output is never going to win any prizes of course, but in the end I was sort of OK with this effort, even if it only shows the dust lane and little else.

Offline PaulB

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Re: M104 - Sombrero galaxy...
« Reply #1 on: 19:03:08, 26 April, 2018 »
you've done all right there.

I think more apperture would cause problems with seeing.
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Offline leemajors

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Re: M104 - Sombrero galaxy...
« Reply #2 on: 08:27:57, 27 April, 2018 »
I cant see an image?

EQ6 pro, Celestron Off Axis Guider, Celestron C8, William Optics Megrez 90, Ikharos 70 f6 ED APO,  Meade 10" LX200GPS, Mod Canon 1000D, CLS clip filter, ZWO ASI120MC planetary cam, Meade DSI colour guide cam, Atik 314L+ mono., Atik 5 pos USB filter wheel, Baader LRGB filter set, Baader 7nm Ha, Baader 8.5nm Oiii & 1.25" CLS filter, Maxim DL 5.

Offline Einari

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Re: M104 - Sombrero galaxy...
« Reply #3 on: 08:57:05, 27 April, 2018 »
I did see it before but no more.

Celestron C8, C9.25" & Hyperstar, iOptron CEM60-EC, TS 80 triplet,  Coronado PST, SXV-694,  ASI120MM/ASI174MC Cool

Offline Suburban Skies

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Re: M104 - Sombrero galaxy...
« Reply #4 on: 09:39:59, 27 April, 2018 »
Thanks for the comments - I've updated the image link, so for those who said "no show", it might work now - not that it's that great anyway...

Offline Suburban Skies

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Re: M104 - Sombrero galaxy...
« Reply #5 on: 09:47:20, 27 April, 2018 »
you've done all right there.

I think more aperture would cause problems with seeing.

Thanks Paul.  The PHD guiding graph was pretty rough at 600 mm focal length thanks to the seeing - I would definitely have struggled to keep round stars with larger aperture/longer focal length.   I backed off to 3.5 second guiding exposures (I usually use 2) and that seemed to help smooth things out.   

Offline Roger B

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Re: M104 - Sombrero galaxy...
« Reply #6 on: 19:54:31, 28 April, 2018 »
Good result.   A galaxy I haven't managed to image due to as you say low altitude.

The h9 is a very capable camera,

Scopes - TS65q, W/O 110 Triplet
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