This is a mosaic of 18 separate panels taken through an H-Alpha filter with the Rokinon 135mm f2.0 lens piggy backed on the Celestron C11 telescope. Each panel was produced by stacking 20 images comprised of 5 and 10 minute exposures. The total exposure time was 45 hours. The picture includes the Veil Nebula, North American Nebula, Pelican Nebula, Tulip Nebula, Propeller Nebula and the Crescent Nebula in the Constellation Cygnus. Microsoft ICE was used to assemble the mosaic. Other software that was used included Adobe Photoshop, Pixinsight, and Maxim DL.
The subexposures for this stacked image were taken with LRGB filters. The total exposure time was about 25 hours with the Celestron 11 inch telescope.
“The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51a, M51a, or NGC 5194, is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy with a Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus in the constellation Canes Venatici. It was the first galaxy to be classified as a spiral galaxy. Recently it was estimated to be 23 ± 4 million light-years from the Milky Way, but different methods yield distances between 15 and 35 million light-years. Messier 51 is one of the best known galaxies in the sky. The galaxy and its companion, NGC 5195, are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars. The Whirlpool Galaxy is also a popular target for professional astronomers, who study it to further understand galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions.”
All of the images were taken with an 80mm Lunt Solar Telescope and an Imaging Source video camera. The image at the bottom was a composite of 25 of the best images out of 100 and had no further magnification. The second image was a composite of 50 of the best images out of 200 and was magnified 5x with a Televue Barlow. The top image was magnified 5x with Televue Barlow and involved 50 stacked images out of 200.
This was taken through the Astro-Physics 130mm refractor using a Lunt Herschel wedge and an Imaging Source video camera. The Lunt wedge produces a white light image which was converted to something resembling an H-Alpha reddish tone. I have never tried this configuration before and was a little surprised at the amount of detail in the final image. The best of 2000 images were stacked.
This nebula is now setting much earlier. I still need a little more imaging in the upper portion. Hopefully the next few days will offer an opportunity to complete the H-Alpha portion of this project. So far the total imaging time is about 15.5 hours. It looks like a color version will have to wait until next year.