Leo Triplet (M65, M66, NGC3628)


Today, Saturday April 30, 2011, I went out to Sokum Ridge Park in Washington County, IA (the observing site of the Iowa City Astronomy Club) to try my new Minolta f3.5/200mm Rokkor lens. It was a clear night and the Sokum Ridge Park provides a very dark nice site for astrophotography. I first took some images of the Leo Triplet (stack of 23 images, 30s exposure time, ISO-1600). The result is amazing. What difference does a dark site make! Compare this image with the image that I took on March 26, 2011 from my light-polluted deck in Iowa City. With some phantasy the spiral arms in M66 and the dust lane in NGC3628 are visible. Even the smaller and faint (magnitude 11) NGC 3593 galaxy shows up. Canon 300D, Minolta f3.5/200mm Rokkor lens, piggy back on a samll 4.25" reflector mounted on a motorized mount. Stacked with DeepSkyStacker, processed in Nebulosity.

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