Derby and District Astronomical Society

Messier 81 (NGC 3031)

Spiral Galaxy in Ursa Major      RA 09h 55m 36s  Dec +69d 04m 00s

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Peter Branson took this image of M81 (left) and M82 (right) on the 26th March 2014. The image is a stacked composite of 26 individual frames each of 120 seconds exposure at ISO 1600. They were taken with a Canon 1100D camera attached to a TS Photoline ED102 refractor telescope with field-flattener and Hutech IDAS light pollution filter attached. The telescope was guided using an Orion Mini autoguider controlled by PHD software. The separate images were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and the final image was further processed in Gimpshop. The supernova that erupted in M82 in January 2014 is visible in the image, below the reddish centre of the galaxy as the right hand and brighter of a pair of stars.

The bright Sb type spiral galaxy M81 (NGC 3031) lies to the left of this image by Adrian Brown, which also shows the irregular galaxy M82 (NGC 3034) to the right. M81's faint satellite galaxy Holmberg IX is visible above M81 itself. Adrian photographed these galaxies with his Skywatcher 80ED refractor and an ATK16HR camera. The data was collected on the evenings of the 1st and 4th March 2006 and consists of 1.5 hours luminance (5 minute sub exposures) and 30 minutes (3 minute sub exposures) each through RGB filters. The digital development process (DDP) filter in Maxim DL was used to bring out detail in the galaxy cores and this detail was then sharpened via the application of a high-pass filter in Adobe Photoshop.

Chris Newsome and Adrian Brown produced this image of M81 on the 19th February 2006. They used a Canon EOS300D camera at 400 ASA through Adrian's Celestron C11 fitted with a f/6.3 focal reducer. This setup employed a CGE mount and was guided using Guidedog software and focusing was performed using DSLRFocus. An Astronomik CLS filter was also used to remove sodium light. Five images were taken at 210 seconds exposure and calibrated in Maxim DL. The resulting image was processed in CS2 using RGB levels, curves, GradientXTerminator and a highpass filter. Chris comments: "This object definitely warrants attention for imaging as this first attempt shows some lovely structure in the spiral arms. Due to vignetting with the setup, however, some of the arms are not as visible as the others".