SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics


Latest news

December: Test shots with new scopes/mounts

Dec 21: TMB 80/480 Arrives!

Dec 3: AP1200 Arrives!

Nov 30: TMB 152/1200 Arrives!


M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy)   [obsolete]

Click to see high-res version.

Image Details:

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel (300D)
Mount: Celestron AS-GT
Scope: Celestron C8-N (8" f/5 Newtonian)
Configuration: Prime Focus
Additional Optics: n/a (Prime)
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 1000mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/5
Exposure: 4 x 4min @ ISO 400
Total Exposure: 0hrs, 16min
Date: 8/10/2004, ~10pm PDT
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: DSLRfocus
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: None
Guiding: Manual through Orion ST80 w/ Celestron 2x "Kit" Barlow


  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, flat field, registration, Kappa-Sigma stacking, background fit
  • Photoshop: Noise reduction, cropping, image scale, JPG conversion

Image Description:

One of my favorite galaxies, this is M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy in the constellation of Ursa Major. M51 is the main, large galaxy, which can be seen to be interacting with the smaller NGC 5195 North of it (above it in this photo). The very faint galaxy, IC 4263, can be seen South-West (below and to the right) of M51. This image could have used more exposure, but it took me a while to get used to the guiding setup, and to drift align, and, and, and, so that I only had about 20min to acquire frames before the object set behind my house. This is the full frame, scaled for display on the web. A higher-resolution image is also available. North is up.