Sunflower Galaxy (M63) Astrophotography with 8" Newtonian. - Galaxy User Guide

The one reality with which you quickly become familiar with astrophotography in the North American Northwest is that of bad weather. A cloud free night is like finding a diamond among a 40-ton mound of dirt plus considering I have to travel to do this because although my area has brilliant dark skies, it also has a very developed tree canopy, and with that in mind, you always want to make sure you get a good night's worth of imaging before you haul your whole rig out, but sometimes after weeks, maybe months of clouds, you become more willing to gamble on nights. Think and I have a perfect 360-degree view of the night sky and not really any trees or anything that are gonna block.

Certain areas like I used to have at my old spot, although there is one thing that I'm not very happy about tonight. Haven't you got the points, even though it won't focus so I'm hoping that's not going to affect my night too much I have the moon at about 20 percent and it's good to be setting later anyways and I do see some high level clouds in that direction. That seems to be getting closer, but I don't know if you go either way at this point the interesting to see what the light pollution here is like I mean I have Vancouver a few hundred miles over in that direction.

So I'm sure there's going to be some glow in that direction, but tonight I am not shooting in that direction because tonight I am going to try and shoot Swan and the sunflower galaxy because I've had really crappy weather this galaxy season, so I'm going to make the best of it I can't you know the one I've got to make the most of the time that I have right now because thing about being at this kind of latitude, I'm at 49 degrees. It goes down to what is nautical twilight or whatever so I've got to make the move of the time that I have and considering that I've been thinking about getting the altair Astro quad band filter because I'd really like to be able to shoot on those moonlit nights too, because out here you can't be picky I.

As far as precipitation goes at 30 million light years, distance, a Messier, 63 otherwise known as the sunflower galaxy is a target I've been very much looking forward to imaging with four hundred billion stars. This galaxy has a number of interesting features for a spiral galaxy such as not having any central bar and a lack of large scale spiral structures and visible wavelengths. It is unknown whether m63 has a supermassive black hole at its core, but if it does it is estimated to be 850 million times the mass of a Sun. Another interesting aspect of m63 that I would like to try my best to capture tonight.

It is currently unknown exactly why this is, although it is suspected to be due to interactions with dark matter, I have a feeling that this dim area will be tricky to capture with my DSLR, but hopefully with enough data. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do a lot of filming while I was setting up my time constraints are pretty darn tight tonight I had a bit of problem with the polar alignment and stuff because I'm new to this spot, so I had a bit of trouble. They're gonna make it next to impossible to image Swan, but fingers crossed the night isn't a loss I'm sure it seems like in the south east I'll still be okay for imaging the sunflower galaxy or Messier 63.

I thought I heard something it's really dark in it kind of creeped out of here, not really I'm sure you could hear the plethora the know the army, the horde of frogs, listen to it start the guiding, because this isn't where I want a guide. The only problem is that my light that I am filling with which we are filming is right in the direction that Swan is so I'm gonna have to reset that up all right, probably a little bit hard to see me at the moment, but I am currently slowing down to Swan. I think I might just start m63 imaging and I plan on staying here all night. If things improve, I might fly back to Swan. Well, you have the computer imaging on the sunflower galaxy and now I'm sitting back to relax.

That kind of view is looking at the stars and the nice thing about being higher kind of on a hill and being able to see the mountains over there. You really start to appreciate the size of this planet that we live on, but even then you are only a fraction of a percent of the surface of the earth from all I can see around me. My guiding is looking pretty good cloud covers for the most part out of my target area and say sunflower is looking pretty nicely. I'll probably do more than that, but for now I have 40 180 second subs at 800, ISO and I plan to do some more if the weather cooperates.

I saw something a little odd I make nothing crazy, but at first I thought it was a satellite that was going off, but in that direction it was going way too fast for suddenly in low Earth orbit. My guesses are maybe a meteorite that is whizzing by the earth, because that could be going so fast, I don't know if there are any satellites that are in a parabolic orbit, I'm blanking on this right now, I'm quite tired. All my heads now playing games with me [Music], so it's been I, don't know that I'm a month of cloudy weather later, since the last session I wasn't very happy with the last session. Think a lot of them had that kind of high-level thin hazy cloud to them that really diminished. The amount of light I was capturing I'm not sure if I'm gonna end up using all of those 180.

Finally, finally, so I'm gonna get out there and hopefully finish my sunflower galaxy project before the end of the Galaxy season, because we are quickly getting into Cygnus and Lyra and all that [Music] gosh, it's a beautiful night sure as a hell of a lot better night then last night I was out here trying to do Crescent because there was full moon that video is coming soon. Things should be pretty good because usually there are clouds, they start over the mountains and come over this way. There are the occasional little wispy kind of things that are hard to see at night, so I'm hoping those don't impact. My imaging is hopefully too much guiding tonight is good.

I know that some people out there might think that that's a massive scope for an HG Q5 but it is within the weight limits and some I think I mean it's not ideal for astrophotography cuz. It's like you should not exceed 80% of the D bounce, maximum weight limit for astrophotography and I. Think, with enough finessing I can make this system work for the scope, so the plan for tonight was to get as many hundred eighty second exposures on sunflower as I could possibly get. I have been running into some slight issues tonight like not sure why but and I think it's not a problem with the software, but my USB keeps disconnecting for no reason during my imaging, so of course that disconnects the camera and stops everything.

Thankfully, because Nina is really nice once you get everything set up again, you can just start where you left off for my guiding situation. At this moment I will show the log of my graph for tonight right here in front of my face and if anyone has any suggestions, I would be extremely grateful because I really want to get my guiding sorted nicely. It is working right now, like I have been able to get usable data, but I imagined that I would get just that much more fine detail if I was able to get my guiding within acceptable levels. At the moment it is running at about 1.30 as far as arcseconds go, but the declination is great. It's running like 0.4 0.3, it's just the right ascension with which I'm having some problems but at the moment I'm basically waiting for clouds to pass.

That's come through, I have been tracking it on the satellite goes 17 I tell you I sure, I've been extremely happy with this new spot. I found one it's picturesque and absolutely beautiful, I can see Vancouver across the inlet. It's just fantastic up here and it's hard to find good spots around here. You'd think that you can find all sorts of interesting areas in the wilderness on Vancouver Island. However, the logging companies have blocked all these surface roads so that no one can actually access the wilderness, which I think is a travesty and quite appalling frankly to have our wilderness, our backyard gated off, and the fact is these are service roads that were built with taxpayer money.

The fact that they've done- that is just some one thing that really grinds my gears: we're really screwed up: oh I'm, getting political on an astrophotography channel. That works fantastically, although I kind of need to get a slightly bigger one because it doesn't reach all the way to the edges. But these things are pretty great for doing your flat frames very well. It doesn't seem like it's supposed to cloud around this time, anyways they were bitterly by a few hours. As I finished packing up I could see the sun's rays peaking above the horizon as civil twilight began, while a barn swallow was overhead getting its morning snack, making a sound reminiscent of the Junkers Jericho siren in a steep dive.

I stacked with three times drizzle with deep sky stacker and my usual workflow of linear and nonlinear processing in Photoshop. I may go into more detail about my processing in the future. But there are plenty of people doing great processing tutorials out there..

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