SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics


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M104 (Sombrero Galaxy)

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: Celestron/Baader Multi Purpose Coma Corrector (MPCC)
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 1000mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/5
Exposure: 14 x 4min @ ISO 200
Total Exposure: 0hrs, 56min
Date: 5/26/2005 10:02:00 PM PDT (start)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: DSLRfocus
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: Manual
Guiding: GuideDog via Philips ToUcam Pro II (840k) through Orion ST80 w/ Celestron 2x "Kit" Barlow


  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, registration, gradient removal
  • JimP: Flat field, Kappa-Sigma Stacking, White balance, ASINH stretching
  • Neat Image: Noise reduction
  • Photoshop: Levels, cropping, JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is M104, aka the Sombrero Galaxy, in the constellation of Virgo. From our vantage point, M104 is a nearly edge-on spiral, with an obvious dust lane obscuring our view at its equator.

The conditions were downright awful the night this was shot. The seeing was so bad I had no idea whether I was truly in focus or not, and the transparency went from decent to horrid over the time period I was collecting frames. I'm amazed I got anything at all, frankly. The image above is a crop of the full-resolution frame. The full size image is also available. North is up.