This is known as "The Sculptor Galaxy" and "The Silver Dollar." I shot this galaxy again on10/11/2007 from the Davis Mountains. This is maybe a 25% reduction in size from the original. It's starting to show some of the interesting detail that looks kind of like steam rising off the top of the galaxy. I used my Current DSLR Workflow including the Lab technique to accentuate the colors. Update: Above image was winner, October 2007 Challenge, "Any Astro Target," in the Yahoo "Digital_Astro" group!
Image above composed of 27x4 minute = 108 minutes total exposure, ISO 1600. Canon EOS 20Da (unmodified), Takahashi TOA 130 (a 5" APO refractor) with flattener, and Astro-Physics AP 900GTO mount.
This is my previous version... Same scope, but this one used the focal reducer and the G11. Five x 4 minute images = 20 minutes total exposure at ISO 800. (I'm amazed I got as much detail as I did at this relatively short exposure!) Canon EOS 20Da (unmodified), Takahashi TOA 130 (a 5" APO refractor), Losmandy G-11 mount. Images from NHAC Neal dark sky observing site, 11/21/2005. This image is my first good result using my current DSLR Workflow.
This object is quite low in the southern sky, in the neighborhood of 34 degrees above the horizon at it's best from my locations in Texas. It's an incredible galaxy that I'm sure I will come back to in the future. See notes on a challenge I had to overcome on this one at bottom of page...
Messier Pictures, Images by Dick Locke
Dick Locke's Astrophoto Gateway page....
Other Pictures from the Davis Mountains are here
Contact and Image Use Information
With the right techniques, the G11 can hold it's own!
I'm carrying a TOA 130 and a ST 80 guidescope on my G11. I had a
challenge in getting the sculptor galaxy image... Due to a lack of
bright stars in the region, I was guiding at maybe 4 second correction
intervals. That just isn't quick enough for my mount, so I re-framed
so that I could get a bright guide star with about 1 second
corrections. That made a large difference in the quality of my stars...
More equipment details on my Takahashi TOA 130 page.