Slow Motion Messier Marathon, Update

Since I declared my intention to begin a Slow Motion Messier Marathon I haven’t gotten as far along as I had hoped. I do have some updates, however:

  • M94, taken on April 20, 2014. This is a disappointing image on a number of levels. You don’t get any real detail in the galaxy at all, and it’s one of the longest stacks I’ve ever done too — 45 minutes! Oh well, it’s checked off the list for now, and I’ll revisit it later.
  • M27, The Dumbbell Nebula, taken on September 8, 2014. This is a satisfying image overall; the dumbbell is a fairly small target for my 80mm refractor. Really, I cheated a bit on this and used the same exposures I used for the next one, so I could use the same dark files.
  • M31, The Great Galaxy in Andromeda, taken on September 8, 2014. Since I can’t seem to get M8, the Lagoon, because of my observing location and some trees, this is my consolation prize. M32 and M110 are also in this image.

In addition, I’ve done some more post-processing on my image of M51 from April 16,

  1. I’ve also dug out a (poorly tracked) shot of M57 that I took about ten years ago with a Meade LX90.

Here is the full list of Messier objects I’ve captured so far. One thing to note is that these are all, with the exception of M57, taken with the same telescope, an Orion ED80, with a focal length of 600mm, giving a field of view of approximately 4º or 240 arcminutes. This means that these images should give an idea of the relative sizes of these objects in the sky.

I’ll include this table in future updates:

The full table (including all the missing objects) is also available on my website.