M 51 Deep Field

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Obj Type
Date Taken:
Messier 51
Calar Alto

 This deep field image of M 51 was made using the 1.23 meter telescope at CAHA, Spain.  Data acquisition was by V. Peris and J. Harvey.  The deep field is to mag 26 as determined by Aladin.  The processing was by V. Peris, S. Mazlin and J Harvey.

An unexpected finding was a large arc of Ha ejecta coming from NGC5195 (see closeup of area circled).  This structure is new to us and we have not found any documentation in the astronomy literature nor evidence on other amateur or professional images, which is surprising considering what a popular target this object happens to be.  The Ha image and more discussion  can be found on the PixInsight Gallery page.

This 35 hours of images was collected over a 10 day period in May.  Operating the 1.23 meter is very much different from using the automated programs and macros that amateur scopes and mounts often work with.  I found the procedure very demanding and time intensive, with little automation.  I wish to thank Vicent Peris for the time he took to teach me to use the telescope and its various programs (slew, focus, autoguiding, imaging , dither and shut down, for a few<G>).  Now if I can just remember them.


Addendum:  Stefan Binnewies of Capella Observatory informs us, "After heavy stretching of the original data also the Capella Observatory´s M51 image shows your Ha-cloud very weak." 


Technical Details
Exposure Time:
RGB total = 24 hours, Ha = 11 hours
Home Made LAICA
Zeiss 1.23M Cassegrain
Zeiss Custom
© 2024 Harvey
Used with permission, No reproduction of these images are permitted without written approval from Harvey.