May 122018

I captured this galaxy the night of May 11-12, 2018. NGC 4565 is a spiral galaxy more luminous than the Andromeda Galaxy but roughly twenty times farther away (30-50 million light-years). We see it edge-on, giving it a needle-like appearance. In the lower right corner of the frame there is another spiral galaxy, NGC 4562.

This image is the result of combining 63 4-minute exposures for a total exposure time of 4 hr 12 min.

May 082018

NGC 6946, the ‘Fireworks Galaxy’ has been the site of 10 supernovae recorded over the past 100 years. It is a spiral galaxy 22.5 million light-years away, located between the constellations Cepheus and Cygnus.

This image is the result of stacking 61 3-minute exposures with a Canon 6D camera on a Takahashi Mewlon 250 telescope at f/12. Recorded the night of May 7-8, 2018.

Apr 272018

Messier 81, also known as NGC 3031 is a spiral galaxy. It is the largest of a group of 34 galaxies in Ursa Major, including its near neighbor M82, ‘merely’ 300,ooo light-years away. Some scientists believe that the high rate of star formation in M82 was caused by a close encounter with M81 some 500 million years ago which stirred up a lot of dust and gas in the neighboring galaxy.

This image was taken April 26, 2018 with a Canon 6D camera attached to a Takahashi Mewlon 250 telescope at f/12. Fifty-three frames of 2-minute exposures were combined, for a total exposure of 1 hr 46 minutes. DeepSkyStacker v 3.3.2 and Photoshop CC with Astronomy Tools from ProDigital Software were used to enhance the structure of the spiral arms.

Apr 262018

M82M82, also known as NGC 3034 in the constellation Ursa Major is about 12 million light-years away. M82 is a prototypical example of a starburst galaxy, characterized by an exceptionally high rate of star formation.

This image was created by combining two hundred 2-minute exposures taken the night of April 25-26, 2018. The camera was a Canon 6D, mounted on a Takahashi Mewlon 250 at f/12.

Oct 052015


In his book, The Messier Objects Stephan James O’Meara calls this galaxy ‘The Phantom,’ writing “No object in the Messier catalogue has proven more troublesome, more elusive, more provocative to amateur astronomers than this giant spiral.” M74, also known as NGC 628 is galaxy with 40 billion stars and a diameter of 97,000 light years. Compare this to our own Milky Way galaxy which has at least 100 billion stars and a diameter of 100,000 light years. While more diffuse than the Milky Way, M74 has a similar armed spiral structure.

I was drawn to trying to capture an image of M74 as I can imagine a sentient being on a planet around one of those stars looking up in their night sky and contemplating us in a galaxy 32 million light years away that looks not that much different.

This image is a combination of thirty 6-minute exposures on the night of October 4-5, 2015 through a Takahashi Mewlon 250 telescope operating at f/19.2 with a Canon 6D camera.



Jul 312014

M51, Whirlpool Galaxy

This image of the Whirlpool Galaxy was captured thje night of July 29-30, 2014. It represents a total exposure of 3 hr 40 min (44 5-minute exposures). The Whirlpool Galaxy, M51 is 23 million light-years from earth. M51 interacts with its companion galaxy NGC 5195 (above). ImagesPlus 5.75 and Photoshop were used for image processing.


Nov 262013

M33 Triangulum GalaxyThe Triangulum Galaxy (M33) is a member of the Local Group of galaxies that includes the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) over fifty other galaxies that are bound together gravitationally. M33 is somewhat smaller than the Milky Way and M31, and at nearly 3 million light years away is more distant than M31 (about 2.5 million light years). Under clear dark skies, M33 can sometimes be seen without a telescope as a dim patch of light about twice as wide as a full moon, making it the most distant object that can be seen with the naked eye.

To created this image, I combined 73 3-minute exposures on a Canon 6D camera connected to a Takahashi FSQ-106 telescope at f/5.

Nov 012013

M31After purchasing a new DSLR camera, a Canon 6D, one of the first targets I wanted to focus on was the Andromeda Galaxy, M31. This image was taken in morning of October 29. It represents a total of 135 2-minute exposures. Processing was done using ImagesPlus 5.5. Compare with an image taken in 2008.

Oct 252008
Andromeda Galaxy, M31

Andromeda Galaxy, M31

Light from the Andromeda Galaxy reaches us after traveling for 2.5 million years. This Galaxy is a spiral galaxy like our own Milky Way, but larger. It contains roughly a trillion stars or about three times as many as in the Milky Way. Almost all of the stars you see in this photograph as pinpoints of light are stars in the Milky Way, a few tens of thousands of light years away. The stars in the Andromeda Galaxy are so far away that their light appears to merge as fuzzy regions of brightness in this photo. Other telescopes can make out individual stars in the Andromeda Galaxy.

This image was created as a mosaic of three overlapping images. Exposures were taken through four filters: Clear, Red, Green and Blue using an SBIG ST-8XME camera attached to a Takahashi FSQ-106 refractor telescope at f/5 over the course of two nights: October 18 and 25, 2008. Total accumulated exposure times were: Clear (3.75 min), Red (4.2 min), Green (4.2 min), Blue (6.7 min).