M33 / NGC 598 – Triangulum Galaxy

Two different locations, more than 200 km apart. Two different telescopes, different size, focal length, light. Two different tools for collecting photons with completely different parameters.

Until now, my computer didn’t really have much to count, but everything changed when I get idea to try, to stack two totally different data sets together. I like such challenges. I’ve spent a lot of time on it with processing stack. The average of time consumed with one single stack processing, took me around 6 hours. It was test stacks + experiments…. I’ve lost in time how many there were, hours or maybe days spent only for the processing of the data itself. Anyway, the power meter count what it wanted and I will pay for this later.

An interesting fact for me was, that the result stack reached a resolution of 23k x 23k [px], and its size was of 6.3 GB. Displaying such an image greedy consumed ¾ from the available memory of my computer. Processing such a photo was a bit tiring, after cropping it was better, but the final .png file with photo, was just over 300MB in the resolution of 9085 x 6950 [px].

M33 / NGC 598 – Triangulum Galaxy, Galaktyka trójkąta

Well…. I must admit that I had a lot of fun with it and a lot of side text was written during processing of stack. Something will come of it.

About the galaxy itself

The Triangulum Galaxy is a spiral galaxy 2.73 million light-years (ly) from Earth in the constellation Triangulum. It is catalogued as Messier 33 or NGC 598. The Triangulum Galaxy is the third-largest member of the Local Group of galaxies, behind the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy. It is one of the most distant permanent objects that can be viewed with the naked eye.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangulum_Galaxy

Location 1: I’ve collected light frames with few different sessions. Photos taken on 2019 at Zwardoń and Bieszczady during PTMA rally.

Equipment: Canon EOS 6D, SkyWatcher Newton 1000/200 [mm], F5, coma corrector, NEQ6Pro.,

Composition: Astro Pixel Processor,

Processing: GIMP + plug-ins (Linux).

Location 2: Photos collected at 9.2020 near Bielsko-Biała.

Equipment: Newton 1200 / 250 [mm], coma corrector, Atik Horizon CEMOS camera, NEQ6Pro.

  • Stack processing: APP
  • Photo processing: Raw Therapee + GIMP + plugins (Linux)
  • Lights: 340 x 40[s]
  • Darks, Bias, Flats, DarkFlats

M33 / NGC 598 – Triangulum Galaxy

First meeting with CMOS astrophotography camera. During first time I’ve collected the Light frames with the CMOS camera, nothing came of it. What I collected then was at best worth learning about its use, how to collecting photons with a CMOS camera, but it was not worth showing to public → trash. Trusted colleagues know what I am writing about.

Smarter about the knowledge gained from failure … the second attempt was already better, together with the signal, I also collected a huge amount of noise. It was impossible to correct it with the calibration files. As a result, I had to rely heavily on photo processing software to save what was possible to save. Picture shown below.

M33 / NGC 598

Science doesn’t go into the forest so by the third time it should be optimal – I hope.

I noticed that the CMOS camera for the astrophoto squeezes the unmodified camera with the range of captured colors. Yes, I know … the modified camera is much better than the unmodified one, but is it worse than the dedicated astrophoto camera? I believe it is, but only when I came into contact with the equipment and the whole process of processing the collected material by myself, only then I was able to “feel” the difference. I admit that personally for me, capturing photons with a CMOS camera is more difficult than using a photo camera.

About galaxy M33:

Is a spiral galaxy 2.73 million light-years (ly) from Earth in the constellation Triangulum. It is catalogued as Messier 33 or NGC 598. The Triangulum Galaxy is the third-largest member of the Local Group of galaxies, behind the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangulum_Galaxy

  • Photographs (Sep 2020) made near Bielsko-Biała.
  • Equipment: ATIK Horizon, O.O. CT-10, NEQ6Pro., MGen II autoguider.
  • Composition: APP
  • Processing: RawTherapee and GIMP + add-ons (Linux)
  • Lights: 340 x 40[s]
  • Darks, Bias, Flats, DarkFlats

M42 / NGC 1976 – Great Nebula in Orion

M42 – Great Nebula in Orion – Also known as NGC 1976. This is the brightest nebula on the sky. It is located in the Orion constellation, south direction from Orion belt. The diameter of the nebula is 30 light years. The distance from Earth is 1344 thousand light years.

With this photo, I’ve tested my Mgen II Lacerta autoguider and in my opinion it did a very good job.

M42 - Orion Nebula / Mgławica w Orionie

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_Nebula

Zdjęcia (Październik 2019) wykonane w Zwardoniu. Standardowa miejscówka zlotów Katowickiego PTMA.

Sprzęt: Canon EOS 6D, Sky-Watcher 200/1000 [mm] na EQ6 Pro., Mgen II Lacerta Auto Guiding.

Photographs (October 2019) made in Zwardoń. A standard place of meetings of the Polish association of astronomy enthusiasts – Katowice dep.

Equipment: Canon EOS 6D, Sky-Watcher 200/1000 [mm] on the EQ6 Pro. and Mgegn II Lacerta autoguider.

  • Composition: APP (13 frames)
  • Processing: RawTherapee and GIMP v2.10.18 + add-ons (Linux)
  • Lights: 13 x 600[s], ISO-400;
  • Bias, Flats