Sunday, September 16, 2018

No Mars, How About a Nice Sombrero Instead?

No new activity with the telescope last week. 

Clouds, wind, and rain prevailed on the East Coast.

While I was planning future astronomy sessions, I rummaged through my hard drive and found this image from March of this year.

It's the Sombrero Galaxy, M104, and it's one of my favorites. 

Sombrero Galaxy, M104, March 2018 from my backyard.
Pretty isn't it?

The imager that I used was my ZWO ASI224MC.

The image was created using electronically assisted astronomy techniques.  I used SharpCap to perform the image capture and used its live stacking capability.  Exposure time of each frame was only 2 seconds and 110 frames were stacked.

So, this image was fully formed in 220 seconds.  No post processing necessary.  I just selected "Save as viewed" from SharpCap's live stacking menu.

While the image is pretty, it does illustrate one of the shortcomings of my imager.  Some of the stars are bloated.  This is a consequence of cranking up the gain and the exposure time so that dimmer parts of the object can be seen -- parts of the object and nearby stars are overexposed.

I'm thinking that I need to upgrade from this imager to one that has greater sensitivity, a "deeper well," and a greater field of view.  🤓

If I do this, I will need to revisit all of the objects that I've ever imaged and do a compare and contrast analysis . . .

Next time?  More Mars?  I want to capture lots of Mars images as it shrinks into the distance from us.



  1. The Sombrero is so pretty! I'm digging the geek happy face emoji, too!

    1. It's a lot of fun being outside in the wee hours of the morning watching the video frames stack. The Sombrero galaxy was exciting enough there was almost dancing of happiness in our driveway.

  2. Well I am impressed!! I cannot wait to get some frames. Flo is almost gone. And someday soon my scope will be on and skyward. Reading informative articles like this one really help, saves time and avoids confusion and misfires. THANK YOU, MY FAV BLOG!!


Featured Post

More HyperStar Fun

Yes, more HyperStar fun! Thursday night, we finally had clear dark night. It was worthy of putting the HyperStar on the Cat. It was worthy o...

Popular Posts