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M65, M66, NGC 3628

M65, M66, NGC 3628

Today, March 26, 2011 the Iowa City Astronomy Club had scheduled an observing session in a small park in West Branch, IA. The evening started overcast and only cleared up around 8:30 pm. When I arrived at the observing site at 9:15 pm, nobody was there and there was considerable light pollution at the site. Therefore, I went back home and took this image from the deck at our home. It is a stack of 16 images taken with the Canon 300D and a f2.8/135mm Minolta Rokkor lens riding piggy back on a cheap 4.25 inch reflector telescope mounted on a very nice and sturdy motorized tripod (Vixen Great Polaris clone). Exposure settings: ISO 1600, 30s exposure time, f2.8. 16 light frames, 6 dark frames, 11 flat frames, processed using DeepSkyStacker. Given that these galaxies are magnitudes 9.0, 9.3, and 9.5 for M66, M65, and NGC 3628, respectively, and given that the image was taken from my light polluted backyard deck, I am quite happy with the outcome.

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