The imaging object of the month for May 2011 is a Messier object, Spiral Galaxy M106 in Canes Venatici.  I particularly like this galaxy and have imaged it several times – it looks to me like a piece of celestial “Mother-of-Pearl” – quite beautiful colouring if you manage to get deep images of this one on a clear (good seeing) night.  M106 is about 22 million light years away and shines at magnitude 8.3 with dimensions 18.6 x 7.2 minutes of arc – so reasonably large.  Even so – this one is better imaged with much longer focal lengths than my 405mm using the Sky 90 with reducer-corrector.  I would recommend focal lengths in excess of 1000mm and sub-exposure times of around 10-minutes with the usual minimum of around 50-60 subs.

The evenings are now getting shorter and this is the last month of imaging (for me at least) for a few weeks now.  Make the most of any clear Moonless nights we get this month – we’ve got a while before we can grab some deep-sky photons again.

Until June – clear skies!!

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2 Responses to “IOM May 2011 – Spiral galaxy M106 (NGC4258) in Canes Venatici”
  1. Tom How says:

    That’s a beauty Greg – excellent effort. I like the yellowy contrast with the small field galaxies.

  2. Greg Parker says:

    Cheers Tom. Don’t like this time of the year (imaging-wise) it means I’m soon coming up to my imaging starvation period due to the non-existent nights, still this year I think I’ll try and spend the “lost” time usefully with the AstroTrac and the DSLR over the forest trying to grab some Milky Way images 🙂
    Greg

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