M81, Bode’s Galaxy

After weeks of cloudy weather, finally some clear skies!
This picture is a ‘quick and dirty’ version, spending 50 minutes only for R,G,B & Ha each. No Luminosity frames were shot. The main objective was to test the tracking accuracy of my mount at long focal length of 1600mm in combination with my new Lodestar guiding camera. And I was recovering from a flu… and I had an early plane to catch the other day… blablabla…
Messier 81 (also known as NGC 3031 or Bode’s Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. Due to its proximity to Earth, large size and active galactic nucleus (which harbors a 70 million M supermassive black hole), Messier 81 has been studied extensively by professional astronomers.  M81 is one of the most striking examples of a grand design spiral galaxy, with near perfect arms spiraling into the very center.

M81_HaRGBSetup:

Telescope: GSO Ritchey-Chrétien 8″ @f8
Camera: QHY9
Mount: Mesumount 2
Guiding: OAG with Lodestar
Exposure: (5x10min Ha + 5x10min R) + 5x10min G + 5x10min B
Date: March 4th, 2013
Location: Overijse, Belgium

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