April 2011: testing with galaxies

I keep on working with balance issues. These seem critical for a good guiding, and right now they appear to be the main culprit for guiding errors. As I lack a comprehensive balancing system, with 3D weights, I get by using a somehow primitive approach: I balance the scope to the specific declination of the target to image. This approach forces me to balance again if I want to image a different target, but, anyway, with the “long” exposures I’m using this is not of main concern.

The results pay off, I think. The guiding goes on smooth, with only some problems in between exposures, as during the CCD download time the guiding system keeps in “latency” and after that the guide star may have moved much (sometimes even out of the small guiding window).

The picture shows the galaxy group knonw as NGC3190, some 60 million light years away, in Leo.NGC3193 is the huge elliptical near the center. NGC3190 is the beautiful spiral, near edge-on, showing the clear dust lane in its plane. NGC3187, to its right, is another spiral, with distorted arms due to the interaction with NGC3190. NGC3185 appears in the top right side of the picture, but it is not related with the group. Also, at least two other faint galaxies can be seen.

This picture was taken with a total exposure over two hours (40 min. luminance + 30 min. through each R, G and B), with 10-min subs. Processed with Pixinsight.

Go to this object description and this image technical detail.