The Phantom Galaxy... M 744
(Click on Picture for larger view)
Added October 3, 2019 ...
I took this image on the night of Thursday, October 3, 2019 with the small 3" refractor telescope. This is a collection of 60 frames at 120 seconds each for a total of a 2 hour exposure. This is a small and faint deep space object. I plan to shoot this with the larger 11" telescope soon.
Messier 74 (also known as NGC 628 and Phantom Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Pisces. It is at a distance of about 32 million light-years away from Earth. It contains about 100 billion stars, less than half the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy of 250 billion stars.
The Techy Stuff:
The Techy Stuff ... For those who want to know ...
Telescope: Orion ED80T CF Triplet Apochromatic Refractor
Camera: Altair Hypercam 294c Pro TEC
Filter: Altair QuadBand OSC CCD 2" Narrow Band
Camera Settings: 120 seconds at gain of 20,000 ... temp: 14F (-10C)
Capture Software: SharpCap Pro v3.2.6054 64 bit
Mount: Celestron AVX
Mount Control: Celestron PWI v2.2.3
Guide Scope: Orion Magnificant Mini Autoguider
Guiding Software: PHD 2
Polar Alignment: QHY Pole Master
Stacking: Deep Sky Staker v4.2.2 64 bit
Post Procession: PixInsight & PhotoShop CC
Bortle Light Pollution zone: 4.5
Seeing Conditions: 9 (out of 10)
Temperature: 76F (24.4C), Dew Point 69F (20.5C)
Location: My Heavenly Garden Backyard, Savannah, GA
This is the full view from the Orion ED80T telescope. As you can see (or can not see), this is rather small deep space object. Using the ED80T f/6 telescope, the field of view is quite large, which is good for nebulae but bad for most galaxies and planet imaging. My intent is to use the larger 11" f/10 Celestron Edge telescope on this target in the near future. The advantage of using a lower f/ratio scope is less precision in tracking and guiding, but for the closer field of view of an f/10 scope is the need for precise tracking and auto guiding. CLICK ON IMAGE FOR FULL SCREEN VIEW
The Orion ED80T CF Triplet Apochromatic Refractor attached to the Celestron AVX equatorial mount in the parked position pointing at the north celestial pole. The guide scope is attached to the upper left while the "StarSense auto align to the right. The main imaging camera is the purple attachment in the primary focus of the telescope. It is the Altair Hypercam 294c Pro TEC one shot color camera with the Altair QuadBand OSC CCD 2" narrow band filter attached to it. It is important that the rig should be perfectly level and balanced in both the Right Ascension (RA) and Declination (Dec) axes.
Return to Pat Prokop's Heavenly Backyard Astronomy Page