Saturday, March 18, 2017

imaged Messier 40 (Halifax)

It looks like I first viewed M40 (Messier 40, Winnecke 4) in July 2010. It seems the wide equal pair did not make a big impression on me. Still, I thought it might be fun to image it with the BGO 'scope, while the Moon was bright.

In preparing for the target, I noted orange star 70 UMa nearby. I decided to include it. For the first time, I tried the offset function with the robotic telescope commands. I told it to shift -15% in RA and -15% in Dec. It worked. 70 Ursae Majoris is at the bottom edge of the image.

double-star Messier 40 in luminance

Luminance only, 3 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

There are hints of the faint nearby galaxies. Due west of the double star is the canted oval of NGC 4290. Beyond it: the smaller oval smudge of NGC 4284. Surprising, in a 3 second shot.

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I didn't see this at first but SkyTools showed a small round galaxy to the west of the bright star. It's MCG 10-18-27 at magnitude 15.7 (in B). It is amazing to me that it is visible in such a fast exposure!

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