Astro Blog

Jose Bellas's Astronomy Blog.

M 51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy

It's been a long time since I've posted an update but here we are with something new.

The observatory is alive and well and eager to work after a long hibernation.

I recently began collecting data on a few targets just to get everything going, work out any kinks, you know... remember the things you forgot, stuff like that.

On two consecutive nights in late June I captured data on M 51, the Whirlpool Galaxy. Obviously this is a galaxy that deserves a long focal length but it was data, good data none the less so why not process it, right?

Here is what my effort looked like:

M 51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy

The image above consists of an hour of sub exposures for each color channel (red, green, and blue) as well as Luminance.

Usually when you take these images you find other objects in the frame that you didn't explain. Most times it's an airplane or helicopter that has flown through the frame. Other times it could be a satellite or even an asteroid or comet.

In one of the blue frames for this object I caught what I believe was a shooting star, It streaks into the image brightens intensely (like shooting stars do) and then disappears. Have a look:

Screen shot of possible shooting star :-)

That's about it for this entry. Thanks for looking and have a Happy 4th of July.