My project to photograph all of the Messier objects. I figured this would be a good way to get me out with a good combination of my stuff and help me figure out how to run the photography side of the hobby. It's a lot different than the film days. If the picture ain't there then I ain't taken it yet. I started the project 2017-07-16. At least that's when I got this web page ready to go.
Getting set up.
The order of the items in the title for each picture are:
Messier calalog number
New General Catalogue (NGC) or Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars (IC) number
The object type
Object size or diameter
Right ascension and declination
Best viewing season
I stole the list of objects from astropixels.com. It's a really nice site.
M1, NGC-1952, Sn, m8.4, 6'x4', 6300ly, 5h34.5m +22°01', Tau, winter, Crab Nebula
M2, NGC-7089, Gc, m6.5, 12.9', 37900ly, 21h33.5m +00°49', Aqr, autumn
M3, NGC-5272, Gc, m6.2, 16.2', 33900ly, 13h42.2m +28°23', CVn, spring
M4, NGC-6121, Gc, m5.6, 26.3', 7200ly, 16h23.6m -26°32', Sco, summer
M5, NGC-5904, Gc, m5.6, 17.4', 24500ly, 15h18.6m +02°05', Ser, summer
M6, NGC-6405, Oc, m4.2, 25', 1600ly, 17h40.1m -32°13', Sco, summer, Butterfly Cluster
M7, NGC-6475, Oc, m3.3, 80', 800ly, 17h53.9m -34°49', Sco, summer, Ptolemy's Cluster
M8, NGC-6523, Di, m6.0, 90'x40', 5200ly, 18h03.8m -24°23', Sgr, summer, Lagoon Nebula
2018-07-07: Just playing with my T6i, Edge 800, Evolution mount combo. I know I can do better than this even with the Evolution mount. I was just showing someone what they could see in their C8 vs what you can see in 20 seconds with a camera. They were impressed. It looked a lot better on the view screen. Hook 'em while they are young.
M9, NGC-6333, Gc, m7.7, 9.3', 26700ly, 17h19.2m -18°31', Oph, summer
M10, NGC-6254, Gc, m6.6, 15.1', 14400ly, 16h57.1m -04°06', Oph, summer
M11, NGC-6705, Oc, m6.3, 14', 6000ly, 18h51.1m -06°16', Sct, summer, Wild Duck Cluster
M12, NGC-6218, Gc, m6.7, 14.5', 16000ly, 16h47.2m -01°57', Oph, summer
M13, NGC-6205, Gc, m5.8, 16.6', 25100ly, 16h41.7m +36°28', Her, summer, Great Hercules Globular
This was an exceptionally crappy picture taken by my old "Sedona" scope and mount. This not so bad one was with my Mach1GTO mount, Edge 8" and Canon T6i.
Later in the evening I took a comparison shot of M13 and Omega Centauri. The pictures are the same scale. Quite a size difference. I guess the Great Nebula in Hercules isn't quite so great.
Sedona looking for Mr. Omega Centauri.
M14, NGC-6402, Gc, m7.6, 11.7', 29000ly, 17h37.6m -03°15', Oph, summer
M15, NGC-7078, Gc, m6.2, 12.3', 33600ly, 21h30m +12°10', Peg, autumn, Great Pegasus Globular
M16, NGC-6611, Oc, m6.4, 7', 7000ly, 18h18.8m -13°47', Ser, summer, Eagle Nebula
M17, NGC-6618, Di, m7.0, 11', 5000ly, 18h20.8m -16°11', Sgr, summer, Omega Nebula
M18, NGC-6613, Oc, m7.5, 9', 4900ly, 18h19.9m -17°08', Sgr, summer
M19, NGC-6273, Gc, m6.8, 13.5', 28400ly, 17h02.6m -26°16', Oph, summer
M20, NGC-6514, Di, m9.0, 28', 5200ly, 18h02.6m -23°02', Sgr, summer, Trifid Nebula
M21, NGC-6531, Oc, m6.5, 13', 4250ly, 18h04.6m -22°30', Sgr, summer
M22, NGC-6656, Gc, m5.1, 24', 10400ly, 18h36.4m -23°54', Sgr, summer, Sagittarius Cluster
2018-07-07: Just playing around at the end of the First Saturday outreach party at the Etscorn Observatory. This was my Canon T6i on the Edge 800 on the Evolution mount. Not horrible. Took some quick snaps of the Lagoon and Trifid nebulas. They were horrible.
M23, NGC-6494, Oc, m6.9, 27', 2150ly, 17h56.8m -19°01', Sgr, summer
M24, NA, MW, m4.6, 90', 10000ly, 18h16.9m -18°30', Sgr, summer, Sagittarius Star Cloud
M25, IC-4725, Oc, m6.5, 40', 2000ly, 18h31.6m -19°15', Sgr, summer
M26, NGC-6694, Oc, m8.0, 15', 5000ly, 18h45.2m -09°24', Sct, summer
M27, NGC-6853, Pl, m7.4, 8.0'x5.7', 1250ly, 19h59.6m +22°43', Vul, summer, Dumbbell Nebula
Still just messing. This is with a C8 Edge on my Mach1GTO mount. I still don't have the alignment right. Could be my polar scope needs adjusting. The exposure was 60sec, unguided with an ASI1600MC camera at prime focus. The ASiair was controlling things. It's OK. There's always a lot of noise. I don't know yet if it is the camera or what. Maybe the chip is being driven harder than the program says it is. More experimenting needed.
M28, NGC-6626, Gc, m6.8, 11.2', 18600ly, 18h24.5m -24°52', Sgr, summer
M29, NGC-6913, Oc, m7.1, 7', 4000ly, 20h23.9m +38°32', Cyg, summer
M30, NGC-7099, Gc, m7.2, 11', 26100ly, 21h40.4m -23°11', Cap, autumn
M31, NGC-224, Sp, m3.4, 178'x63', 3Mly, 0h41.8m +41°16', And, autumn, Andromeda Galaxy
M32, NGC-221, El, m8.1, 8'x6', 3Mly, 0h42.8m +40°52', And, autumn
M33, NGC-598, Sp, m5.7, 73'x45', 3Mly, 1h33.9m +30°39', Tri, autumn, Triangulum Galaxy
So this is a 125 second exposure with a lot of Moon in the area. I was mostly just zipping around testing the Mach1GTO mount and not shooting pictures for National Geographic.
M34, NGC-1039, Oc, m5.5, 35', 1400ly, 2h42m +42°47', Per, autumn
A 30 second exposure with a Canon T6i, C8 Edge, and Mach1GTO mount.
M35, NGC-2168, Oc, m5.3, 28', 2800ly, 6h08.9m +24°20', Gem, winter
M36, NGC-1960, Oc, m6.3, 12', 4100ly, 5h36.1m +34°08', Aur, winter
M37, NGC-2099, Oc, m6.2, 24', 4400ly, 5h52.4m +32°33', Aur, winter
M38, NGC-1912, Oc, m7.4, 21', 4200ly, 5h28.7m +35°50', Aur, winter
M39, NGC-7092, Oc, m4.6, 32', 825ly, 21h32.2m +48°26', Cyg, autumn
M40, Win4, Ds, m8.4, 0.8', 510ly, 12h22.4m +58°05', UMa, spring, Winnecke 4
M41, NGC-2287, Oc, m4.6, 38', 2300ly, 6h47m -20°44', CMa, winter
M42, NGC-1976, Di, m4.0, 85'x60', 1600ly, 5h35.4m -05°27', Ori, winter, Great Nebula in Orion
M43, NGC-1982, Di, m9.0, 20'x15', 1600ly, 5h35.6m -05°16', Ori, winter, De Mairan's Nebula
I think this is a 1/2 second C11/Hyperstar picture. It can only get better from here. M42 is the big one with M43 below it.
M44, NGC-2632, Oc, m3.7, 95', 577ly, 8h40.1m +19°59', Cnc, winter, Beehive Cluster
M45, NA, Oc, m1.6, 110', 380ly, 3h47m +24°07', Tau, winter, Pleiades
M46, NGC-2437, Oc, m6.0, 27', 5400ly, 7h41.8m -14°49', Pup, winter
I was testing a Celestron Evolution mount with my WOZ61/T6i combination to see if the Evo mount could handle photography. The picture is crappy, because I was testing the mount and had the ISO cranked way up.
M46 has a planetary nebula, NGC-2438, not in it but in front of it a few thousand lightyears. I thought it was a flaw in the camera chip. North is roughly up in both of these pictures.
Some of the pictures were taken with this test setup to see if my Celestron Evolution mount could do it. This setup was quick and easy to get going, and the go-to nature of the mount made finding the objects a breeze. That's a William Optics Zenithstar 61 scope, Flat61 field flattener, and a Canon T6i camera.
M47, NGC-2422, Oc, m5.2, 30', 1600ly, 7h36.6m -14°30', Pup, winter
An equally crappy picture taken while I was testing the Evo mount (see M46). The clump of stars near the top is a separate cluster from M47 and is NGC-2423.
M46, M47 and NGC-2423 are right right next to each other in the sky, but not in real life. Nice. I'll get back to these once I stop playing around.
M48, NGC-2548, Oc, m5.5, 54', 1500ly, 8h13.8m -05°48', Hya, winter
M49, NGC-4472, El, m8.4, 9'x7.5', 60Mly, 12h29.8m +08°00', Vir, spring
Doesn't look like much, especially in a wide Hyperstar'ed image. I'll have to redo it.
M50, NGC-2323, Oc, m6.3, 16', 3000ly, 7h03.2m -08°20', Mon, winter
M51, NGC-5194, Sp, m8.4, 11'x7', 37Mly, 13h30m +47°11', CVn, spring, Whirlpool Galaxy
More experimentin'. Cropped from a C11/Hyperstar shot, so it was kinda small. Will try again later.
M52, NGC-7654, Oc, m7.3, 13', 5000ly, 23h24.2m +61°35', Cas, autumn
M53, NGC-5024, Gc, m7.6, 12.6', 59700ly, 13h12.9m +18°10', Com, spring
M54, NGC-6715, Gc, m7.6, 9.1', 88700ly, 18h55.1m -30°29', Sgr, summer
M55, NGC-6809, Gc, m6.3, 19', 17600ly, 19h40m -30°58', Sgr, summer
M56, NGC-6779, Gc, m8.3, 7.1', 32900ly, 19h16.6m +30°11', Lyr, summer
M57, NGC-6720, Pl, m8.8, 1.4x1.0, 2300ly, 18h53.6m +33°02', Lyr, summer, Ring Nebula
Taken with my C6 (Walter) and a ZWO ASI174MM at prime focus, single 15s exposure. This was the first time using my ASI cameras for anything other than solar work. The pointing may be a little off and/or the factory grease in my Losmandy GM-8 mount was starting to get stiff from the temperature being in the 30's F. It became an undeniable problem later in the evening. I later figured out that the scope needed to be collimated a bit too. Tried stacking pictures, but just about every single shot looked better than any combination of stacked pictures. It's hard starting at 1500mm focal length, but there you go. It looks like six hot pixels!
M58, NGC-4579, Ba, m9.7, 5.5'x4.5', 60Mly, 12h37.7m +11°49', Vir, spring
M59, NGC-4621, El, m9.6, 5'x3.5', 60Mly, 12h42m +11°39', Vir, spring
M60, NGC-4649, El, m8.8, 7'x6', 60Mly, 12h43.7m +11°33', Vir, spring
M61, NGC-4303, Sp, m9.7, 6'x5.5', 60Mly, 12h21.9m +04°28', Vir, spring
M62, NGC-6266, Gc, m6.5, 14.1', 22500ly, 17h01.2m -30°07', Oph, summer
M63, NGC-5055, Sp, m8.6, 10'x6', 37Mly, 13h15.8m +42°02', CVn, spring, Sunflower Galaxy
M64, NGC-4826, Sp, m8.5, 9.3'x5.4', 19Mly, 12h56.7m +21°41', Com, spring, Black Eye Galaxy
M65, NGC-3623, Sp, m9.3, 8'x1.5', 35Mly, 11h18.9m +13°05', Leo, spring
M66, NGC-3627, Sp, m8.9, 8'x2.5', 35Mly, 11h20.2m +12°59', Leo, spring
M67, NGC-2682, Oc, m6.1, 30', 2700ly, 8h50.4m +11°49', Cnc, winter
M68, NGC-4590, Gc, m7.8, 12', 33300ly, 12h39.5m -26°45', Hya, spring
M69, NGC-6637, Gc, m7.6, 7.1', 28000ly, 18h31.4m -32°21', Sgr, summer
M70, NGC-6681, Gc, m7.9, 7.8', 29400ly, 18h43.2m -32°18', Sgr, summer
M71, NGC-6838, Gc, m8.2, 7.2', 12700ly, 19h53.8m +18°47', Sge, summer
M72, NGC-6981, Gc, m9.3, 5.9', 55400ly, 20h53.5m -12°32', Aqr, summer
M73, NGC-6994, As, m9.0, 2.8', 2000ly, 20h59m -12°38', Aqr, summer
M74, NGC-628, Sp, m9.4, 10.2'x9.5', 35Mly, 1h36.7m +15°47', Psc, autumn
M75, NGC-6864, Gc, m8.5, 6', 61300ly, 20h06.1m -21°55', Sgr, summer
M76, NGC-650, Pl, m10.1 2.7'x1.8', 3400ly, 1h42.4m +51°34', Per, autumn, Little Dumbbell Nebula
M77, NGC-1068, Sp, m8.9, 7'x6', 60Mly, 2h42.7m +00°02', Cet, autumn
M78, NGC-2068, Di, m8.3, 8'x6', 1600, 5h46.7m +00°03', Ori, winter
M79, NGC-1904, Gc, m7.7, 8.7', 42100ly, 5h24.5m -24°33', Lep, winter
M80, NGC-6093, Gc, m7.3, 8.9', 32600ly, 16h17m -22°59', Sco, summer
M81, NGC-3031, Sp, m6.9, 21'x10', 12Mly, 9h55.6m +69°04', UMa, spring, Bode's Galaxy
M82, NGC-3034, Ir, m8.4 9'x4', 12Mly, 9h55.8m +69°41', UMa, spring, Cigar Galaxy
M83, NGC-5236, Sp, m7.6 11'x10', 15Mly, 13h37m -29°52', Hya, spring, Southern Pinwheel
M84, NGC-4374, Ln, m9.1, 5', 60Mly, 12h25.1m +12°53', Vir, spring
M85, NGC-4382, Ln, m9.1, 7.1'x5.2', 60Mly, 12h25.5m +18°12', Com, spring
M86, NGC-4406, Ln, m8.9, 7.5'x5.5', 60Mly, 12h26.2m +12°57', Vir, spring
M87, NGC-4486, El, m8.6, 7', 60Mly, 12h30.8m +12°24', Vir, spring
M88, NGC-4501, Sp, m9.6, 7'x4', 60Mly, 12h32.1m +14°26', Com, spring
M89, NGC-4552, El, m9.8, 4', 60Mly, 12h35.7m +12°33', Vir, spring
M90, NGC-4569, Sp, m9.5, 9.5'x4.5', 60Mly, 12h36.8m +13°10', Vir, spring
M91, NGC-4548, Ba, m10.2, 5.4'x4.4', 60Mly, 12h35.5m +14°30', Com, spring
M92, NGC-6341, Gc, m6.4, 11.2', 26700ly, 17h17.1m +43°08', Her, summer
M93, NGC-2447, Oc, m6.0, 22', 3600ly, 7h44.6m -23°52', Pup, winter
Taken with my WOZ61/T6i combo. I was testing a Celestron Evolution mount to see if it was good enough for quick-shot photography. While the goal of this picture was to test the mount, and not take a good picture, it didn't turn out terrible.
M94, NGC-4736, Sp, m8.2, 7'x3', 15Mly, 12h50.9m +41°08', CVn, spring
M95, NGC-3351, Ba, m9.7, 4.4'x3.3', 38Mly, 10h44m +11°42', Leo, spring
M96, NGC-3368, Sp, m9.2, 6'x4', 38Mly, 10h46.8m +11°49', Leo, spring
M97, NGC-3587, Pl, m9.9, 3.4'x3.3', 2600ly, 11h14.8m +55°01', UMa, spring, Owl Nebula
M98, NGC-4192, Sp, m10.1, 9.5'x3.2', 60Mly, 12h13.9m +14°55', Com, spring
M99, NGC-4254, Sp, m9.9, 5.4'x4.8', 60Mly, 12h18.9m +14°26', Com, spring
M100, NGC-4321, Sp, m9.3, 7'x6', 60Mly, 12h23m +15°50', Com, spring
M101, NGC-5457, Sp, m7.9, 22', 27Mly, 14h03.2m +54°21', UMa, spring, Pinwheel Galaxy
A super bad 30 second picture of M101 with my C8 Edge/T6i on the Mach 1. Just testing.
Better, but, ugh. This is a crop from a 2°x2° picture taken with a Hyperstar lens on a C11 with an ASI1600MC-C camera. The cooling was not on. This is also from the Jpeg image on my iPad downloaded from an ASiair (Raspberry Pi) computer. It's November 2019 and I still don't know what to do with the FITs files that the ASiair produces to see if there is a better picture to be had.
A step up. In June 2018 I went on a road trip to Austin, TX and picked up an Astro-Physics Mach1GTO mount. That Celestron EdgeHD 800 (C8) looks a little whimpy on that mount.
M102, NGC-5866, Ln, m9.9, 5.2'x2.3', 40Mly, 15h06.5m +55°46', Dra, summer
One of the first pictures with my Mach1GTO mount. C8 Edge and Canon T6i, 30 seconds. Way better than the Evolution mount.
M103, NGC-581, Oc, m7.4, 6', 8500ly, 1h33.2m +60°42', Cas, autumn
M104, NGC-4594, Sp, m8.0, 9'x4', 50Mly, 12h40m -11°37', Vir, spring, Sombrero Galaxy
M105, NGC-3379, El, m9.3, 2', 38Mly, 10h47.8m +12°35', Leo, spring
M106, NGC-4258, Sp, m8.4, 19'x8', 25Mly, 12h18.9m +47°19', CVn, spring
M107, NGC-6171, Gc, m7.9, 10', 20900ly, 16h32.5m -13°03', Oph, summer
M108, NGC-3556, Sp, m10.0, 8'x1', 45Mly, 11h11.5m +55°40', UMa, spring
M109, NGC-3992, Ba, m9.8, 7'x4', 55Mly, 11h57.6m +53°23', UMa, spring
M110, NGC-205, El, m8.5, 17'x10', 3Mly, 00h40.4m +41°41', And, autumn
Taken with C6 (Walter) and an ASI174MM camera. No filters or anything. Just black and white. Was on my way from IC-10 to NGC-1049 and stopped to take a quick pic. This is a stack of a few shots, but there were mount tracking troubles. Will need to figure that out.
Where in the sky are we?
Stolen from Wikipedia.