Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Pinwheel galaxy revisited


Pinwheel galaxy

The Pinwheel Galaxy is a popular target for amateur astrophotographers, and I am as about amateur as they get. For this shot I hired a telescope owned by, located at Mayhill, New Mexico. Over three nights I collected several hours of red, green, and blue data. These were fed into the PixInsight processing program and massaged to produce what you see here.

From Wikipedia:

The Pinwheel Galaxy (also known as Messier 101, M101 or NGC 5457) is a face-on spiral galaxy distanced 21 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major, first discovered by Pierre M├ęchain on March 27, 1781, and communicated to Charles Messier who verified its position for inclusion in the Messier Catalogue as one of its final entries

One of these evenings I plan to photograph this galaxy from my light polluted patio to see how close I can come to this shot from a 7,000 ft mountain top. It should not be hard to tell the difference.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. –Ps 19:1




5 Responses to “Pinwheel galaxy revisited”
  1. Tom says:


  2. Leslie says:

    That’s gorgeous. Surreal.

  3. Larry Ayers says:

    Nice photo, Dad! It rendered quite well on my Android phone,located a couple of thousand feet lower and a couple of hundred miles west of your hired ‘scope.

  4. Dave Ayers says:

    Thanks, all.

    Being super critical, I think the stars look a little domineering, especially the brighter ones that are rendered as neat white disks. There is a tool in PixInsight called MaskedStretch designed to tone down the stars. May try it and post before and after to see what you think.

    Since this is the galaxy season, meaning that the Milky Way is mostly at the horizon in all directions, I am planning to snap the Whirlpool Galaxy from here and see how it goes.


  5. Linda says:

    That is awesome! I would say anyone who hires a far away telescope to obtain multicolored data to feed to Pixensight is not an amateur. But then what do I know.. except I like the results!

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