Galaxies

Machi

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I could not find general thread for astrophotos of galaxies (except Andromeda Galaxy and Milky Way) so I'm founding this one.

Here is my latest astrophotography attempt - part of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster.
It's a composite image made from over 2 000 stacked images.
Overall exposure time was 13 hours and 28 minutes.
Images were taken with Olympus E-M10II + Samyang 85mm f/1.8 (at f/2 and f/2.8) on the Minitrack LX2 mount.
Faintest visible objects have ~19. magnitude (~100,000× less than what's visible by naked eye).

 
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I could not find general thread for astrophotos of galaxies (except Andromeda Galaxy and Milky Way) so I'm founding this one.

Here is my latest astrophotography attempt - part of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster.
It's a composite image made from over 2 000 stacked images.
Overall exposure time was 13 hours and 28 minutes.
Images were taken with Olympus E-M10II + Samyang 85mm f/1.8 (at f/2 and f/2.8) on the Minitrack LX2 mount.
Faintest visible objects have ~19. magnitude (~100,000× less than what's visible by naked eye).
How do you like the Omegon LX2? I have been looking at one for a while and would like an actual users opinion. Thanks
 

Machi

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How do you like the Omegon LX2? I have been looking at one for a while and would like an actual users opinion. Thanks
Positives:
It's very small, light, cheap and you don't need a battery.

Negatives:
Finding Polaris through simple polar finder can be tedious sometimes (when sky is not dark - half/full Moon conditions or mist in the atmosphere) but you can buy proper optical polar finder now (it wasn't available at the time when I bought it).
One needs to learn behaviour of the counterweight springs as they affects speed of tracking.
I found that best way is to look at the bright star in the scene through the camera's LCD with the grid on and with max. magnification (14× with Olympus E-M10) and set position of counterweight springs so that the star stands still on the LCD.
Tracking with one wind-up of clockwork mechanism is only 60 minutes, in practice considering that proper adjustment of camera and counterweight springs can take some time, it runs for 45-50 minutes.
It works only for Northern hemisphere (but there is a version NS for both hemispheres now).
Weight limit is just 2 kilos (~4.5 pounds) but that's a price for low weight of the mount.

In general, I think that it's ideal for travel wide angle astrophotography and
it works very well for M43 cameras with lenses up to 35-50 mm as one can use intervalometer and up to 60 seconds exposures (especially good are Olympuses as they have capability of up to 60 seconds exposures with electronic shutter).
With longer lenses one needs more practice and shorter exposure times.
I tried with success lenses up to 500mm (1000mm FF equiv.) with exposure times 8 seconds.
That can be quite painful, especially finding the target of observation, but that's more problem of the long lens and not the mount.
I've just ordered small ED refractor and I will be pushing LX2 to the limits so I'll report more results soon!
 
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Mark73

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Sep 13, 2019
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And the Sombrero Galaxy with my E-PL5

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Mark73

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Sep 13, 2019
Messages
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I could not find general thread for astrophotos of galaxies (except Andromeda Galaxy and Milky Way) so I'm founding this one.

Here is my latest astrophotography attempt - part of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster.
It's a composite image made from over 2 000 stacked images.
Overall exposure time was 13 hours and 28 minutes.
Images were taken with Olympus E-M10II + Samyang 85mm f/1.8 (at f/2 and f/2.8) on the Minitrack LX2 mount.
Faintest visible objects have ~19. magnitude (~100,000× less than what's visible by naked eye).

View attachment 818112
As it's galaxy season, great thread idea btw.
 

Mark73

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M63, with the same camera.
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Mark73

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More, courtesy of Frankencam

M64 - The Black Eye Galaxy

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Mark73

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Frankencam, an adapted 1000mm Soviet mirror lens and 0.71x speedbooster.

M51- The Whirlpool Galaxy

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Mark73

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The Needle Galaxy, again by Frankencam

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D7k1

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ngc4565_RCA.jpg
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1 min LRGB exposure(s) NGC 4565

Here is the Plate Solve
NGC4565PS.jpg
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Been so rainy here in Oregon have not had a chance to use my dual C8/ES102, these are from my Slooh subscription. Can't remember if this was with the EdgeC14 or the Planewave 17.
 

Machi

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Thanks, John

M4/3 might always be a bit noisier than FF in low light, but you can get perfectly good DSO images if you're prepared to work at it that little bit more.
Interestingly, one of the favourite deep sky cameras ASI1600MM Pro, is using the same M43 sensor as Olympus OMD E-M1 and Panasonic GH4.
This sensor (MN34230) is known to be very noisy in case of long exposures, where thermal noise plays important role, but because ASI1600MM is cooled thermal noise is negligible.
 

Mark73

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Interestingly, one of the favourite deep sky cameras ASI1600MM Pro, is using the same M43 sensor as Olympus OMD E-M1 and Panasonic GH4.
This sensor (MN34230) is known to be very noisy in case of long exposures, where thermal noise plays important role, but because ASI1600MM is cooled thermal noise is negligible.
Yes, you are correct about the 1600MM/MC sensor. Set point cooling is the major difference.
I'm also led to believe, although not exactly the same, the ASI294MC has a variation of the Panasonic GH5s sensor. M43 is perfect for astro as the smaller, squarer image circle is more forgiving of optics than FF or even APS-C.

I have self-modified my E-PL5 with it's own DIY set-point cooled Peltier, as well as performing a full spectrum modification. EXIF temperatures are, whilst not quite as low as a dedicated astrocam, still close to zero. I also don't require a computer to control my camera which is a big plus for me.

Regards
 

Mark73

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A widefield shot of The Virgo Cluster - E-PL5 and my adapted 135mm Pentax SMC Takumar.

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Machi

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First test of Sky-Watcher Evostar 72 ED on the sky.
Fainter galaxies NGC 5746 (larger one) and NGC 5740 in the Virgo constellation.
Olympus E-M10II + Evostar + Minitrack LX2 + focal reducer (without field flattener).
Cumulative exposure over 3 hours at ISO 3200 (~1300 images at 8 and 10 seconds).

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