M77 and NGC 1055 - Galactic Neighbors
M77 and NGC 1055 - Galactic Neighbors
M77 and NGC 1055 - Galactic Neighbors
M77 and NGC 1055 form an interesting pair of galaxies in Cetus and are the dominant galaxies in the M77 group of galaxies.

This image is a composite image made from a wider frame with both galaxies, and then separate cropped images of M77 and NGC 1055. By making this image as a composite, I was able to have a wide field with sharp focus across the entire frame.

In this image, North is to the right. This image is cropped to 92% of the original full frame.

Exposure Details
Lens Celestron C-8 SCT with Celestron focal reducer
Focal Length 1160mm (measured from the image)
Focal Ratio f/5.8
 
Mount Schaefer GEM - 7 1/2 Byers gear
Guiding ONAG On-Axis Guider, Lodestar autoguider, PHD Guiding
 
Camera Canon 450D - Gary Honis modified
Exposure 435 subexposures of 180 seconds each at ISO 1600 - about 21 3/4 hours total
Calibration 30 darks, 30 flats, 30 bias
 
Date September 18, and 19, 2012 and October 14, 15, and 16, 2012
Temperature 59F - 9/18, 61F - 9/19, 54F - 10/14, 56F - 10/15, 59F - 10/16
SQM Reading 21.3 on 9/18 and 9/19, 21.2 on 10/14, 21.1 on 10/15 and 10/16
Seeing 3/5 on 9/18, 9/19 and 10/16; 4/5 on 10/14 and 10/15
Location Pine Mountain Club, California
 
Software Used Images Plus 4.5 for camera control, calibration, stacking, digital development, multiresolution sharpening, smoothing and noise reduction. Photoshop CS5 used for levels and curves, color correction, selective color, high pass filter, star shrinking, lab color, saturation adjustments, screen mask invert, lens correction, and smart sharpen. Gradient Xterminator for gradient removal. Carboni Tools for additional saturation adjustments, noise reduction, and smoothing. HLVG for additional color correction. Registar for image alignment.
Notes I put a lot of hours into this image and I think the effort paid off. Both of these galaxies are relatively faint, but I was able to capture some fairly nice detail as well as a good collection of background galaxies, too.

If you liked this picture, you might also want to view:

M77 - A Seyfert Galaxy in Cetus


NGC 1055 - M77's Neighbor Galaxy in Cetus