NGC 4565 - the Needle Galaxy

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Pete
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NGC 4565 - the Needle Galaxy

Unread post by Pete »

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Originally, I’d intended to do 1-hour captures of M3 and M5 as they’re bright enough to get me in at a reasonable hour. But the moon is down and the air is still, and I chanced upon an observing list from last month that contained some galaxies that were too low to capture in April. While M104 (the Sombrero Galaxy) is a tempting target the lesser known NGC 4565 Needle Galaxy is even bigger and brighter.

As seems to be the new normal, a number of problems arose. I’d not yet fixed the lower shutter to keep it from falling off when the dome rotated, so down we go to the shop where some new retention arms were fabricated and installed (30 minutes). The 3 minute exposure burned out the galaxy core so I shifted to 1 minute exposures (another 30 minutes lost). The flat didn’t work and had to be redone ( 5 minutes or so). Although I was out at 20:00 actual “keeper” images didn’t start until 21:42 :evil: The Needle was at the meridian when I started but well to the west by the time things got rolling.
NGC4565.jpg
NGC4565.jpg (1.13 MiB) Viewed 78 times
21:42 – 23:32 hrs, 29 May 2022
110 X 1 minute exposure, binned 2X, 120 gain, -10° Cooling, 2 second guide rate
Meade 14” LX200GPS at f/6.3 with Optolong LP-P filter and ASI2600MC-P camera

It was 64F when I came out and when I closed up at 23:44 it was 61F. The air was dead still for the entire session.

Conclusions and lessons learned:

One thing of note was that the scope tracked perfectly. For a change. All 110 frames were clean and were used. Perhaps this is associated with dropping guide rate from the normal 5 sec to 2 sec. Or perhaps it’s simply that the scope tracks better in the southern hemisphere.

Had to stop only because the galaxy was sinking fairly low and didn’t want to start adding bad frames to good.

For less than 2 hours of exposure it came out much better than expected.

The lower shutter completely blocks all terrestrial light impingement on the corrector plate, and as a consequence the image background is even and easily processed.
Pete P.
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menardre
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Re: NGC 4565 - the Needle Galaxy

Unread post by menardre »

Pete

Wow!!

That is an excellent image of the Needle Galaxy. Nice details in the dust lanes. Not sure if you planned it, but I like the orientation of the galaxy.

Well done!!!
Roger M.
Celestron CPC1100 EDGE, Stellarvue 130T refractor dual mounted on iOptron CEM120 on permanent pier mounted in Observatory. Imaging camera ZWO ASI 071, guide camera Lodestar.
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Pete
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 9:03 pm

Re: NGC 4565 - the Needle Galaxy

Unread post by Pete »

Thanks Rog,

The orientation is what I normally use, with N up and E left. But the cropping/positioning is indeed intended for use at next week's art festival.
Pete P.
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