My Latest Astrophoto: Spiral Galaxy M63

Spiral Galaxy M63

It seems pretty rare for me to be lucky enough to get a break in the clouds lately so the other night when we actually had a clear night with great skies, I just had to open up the observatory and do some astrophotography!  For this particular evening, my target was the spiral galaxy M63.

Joined by my husky and my girlfriend, I spent the evening gathering photons from the spiral galaxy M63 or Messier 63 if you prefer the full designation.  The spiral galaxy M63 is approximately 27 million light years away and home to around 400 billion stars!  It always boggles my mind to think that photons have been traveling uninterrupted through space for millions of years (27 million in this case) uninterrupted only to end up being stopped by my telescope.  Their journey is complete!  Although I almost feel bad for stopping them after all of these millions of years.

As for the more technical details of this astrophoto of the galaxy M63, you can click on this link find my up-to-date list of equipment for my telescope setup for astrophotography.

As for the specifics on this particular photo, I have listed them below.

  • ISO 800
  • 2:02 exposure time (2-min subs)
  • 10 dark frames
  • 30 bias frames
  • 15 flat frames
  • focal reducer (see link above for more into)

I have to admit, that even though this is a very expensive hobby and I don’t get to go out at night as often as I would like because we just seem to have more cloudy nights than we used to, its still incredibly rewarding to get shots like this one of such a photogenic spiral galaxy like Messier 63.

I’m curious, what sort of hobbies do you guys have?  Let me know in the comments below because I would love to learn about them!

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