Colliding Antennae Galaxies - Adam Lundie - Eatons Hill Observatory

Colliding Antennae Galaxies

06-Apr-2016
Colliding Antennae Galaxies thumbnail
Colliding Antennae Galaxies
The Antennae Galaxies, also known as NGC 4038/NGC 4039, are a pair of interacting galaxies ~45 million light years away. They are currently going through a starburst phase, in which the collision of clouds of gas and dust, with entangled magnetic fields, causes rapid star formation.

This was a particularly difficult subject for me, due to the lack of guide stars bright enough to use adaptive optics at my usual 5hz rate.

Image:

  • 50x 300s Luminance bin2x2 + 15 flat + 50x dark + 120x bias
  • 13x 150s Red bin3x3 + 15 flat + 50x dark + 120x bias
  • 10x 150s Green bin3x3 + 15 flat + 50x dark + 120x bias
  • 14x 150s Blue bin3x3 + 15 flat + 50x dark + 120x bias

Total integration 5 hours 43 minutes.

Hardware:

  • Celestron EdgeHD 1100
  • Celestron EdgeHD 0.7x Focal Reducer
  • SkyWatcher EQ8 Pro Mount
  • QSI 683-wsg Camera @ -15C
  • Astronomik Typ 2c LRGB filters
  • Orion StarShoot Autoguider
  • Foresight Innovations On Axis Guider
  • Starlight Xpress Adaptive Optics

Location:

  • Orange zone in Brisbane, Australia. (Bortle 7)
  • Average seeing + 21% moon phase.

Software:

  • Planning & camera alignment with Aladin 9
  • Captured with AstroArt 6
  • Guiding with PHD2 + PHD_Dither
  • CCDInspector: Image analysis & rejection
  • CCDStack 2+: Calibrate, align, stack, combine RGB.
  • Photoshop CC: Noise reduction, minimum filter, shadows/highlights, curves, high pass filter, unsharp mask.

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