A trio of galaxies – Messier 33, NGC2403 & Messier 77

Well I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas, we certainly did. I am however sat here wondering when I’ll see some clear, dry imaging weather; over 3 inches of rain so far today and more on the way!

Anyhow, all this precipitation has persuaded me to post a few works in progress:

Messier 33 – The Triangulum Galaxy

This is a spiral galaxy about 3 million light years away and at 73×45 arc minutes it appears relatively large in our sky. It is in fact the 3rd largest galaxy in our local group, with a visual brightness of mag 5.7.

M33-autumn07-web  Click image for a larger view …

The image above is a stack of images taken on several different nights. It still needs some extended H-alpha exposures but that will have to wait until I have the right equipment.



This rather attractive spiral galaxy is located some 12 million light years away and in the constellation of Camelopardalis. The galaxy has a visual magnitude of 8.9.

NGC2403-161107-web Click image for a larger view …

I would like some extended exposure time on this galaxy, maybe 4 – 5 minute subs, to bring out some feint fine details but again this will have to wait until my guiding kit is setup.


Messier 77 – Cetus A

Another of Messier’s collection of objects, this galaxy is seen in the constellation Cetus. It has relatively small dimensions in our sky (7 x 6 arc mins) and is also rather duller than the 2 galaxies above, visual mag. 9.6. M77 is a barred spiral galaxy, some 50 to 60 million light years away.

 M77-161207-web  Click image for a larger view …

My image above is a somewhat preliminary ‘first shot’ consisting of 1 hour luminance data only.  As can be seen, longer sub-exposures will be needed to catch the duller part of the spiral arms. Then colour details will be added. The image so far, has been taken with my SX Lodestar and includes no darks or flats.


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