Messier 33 in Triangulum

(Image dedicated to Montebello Ranger Elisa W.)


Messier 33 (NGC 598) is the second closest galaxy to our own Milky Way galaxy, laying 2.4 million light years away (M31 is the closest).   M33 is a loose spiral galaxy with several large stellar nurseries which appear in this photograph as the red areas, owing to their intense hydrogen-alpha emission.  This galaxy was discovered in 1764 by Messier.


Date: September 16-20, 2006
Location: Cupertino, CA
Scope: Takahashi FS102 @ 800mm
Guiding: Vixen 60mm refractor with SBIG ST-4
Mount: Losmandy G-11
Camera: SBIG ST2000XM
Filters: Custom Scientific in FLI CFW
Exposure details:
3x20 minutes red filter
3x20 minutes hydrogen-alpha filter
3x20 minutes green filter
3x20 minutes blue filter
3x20 minutes luminance
Processing: MaximDL for calibration, alignment and combining.  PSCS for final processing

Processing note:  This is an LRGB composite using combined red and hydrogen alpha exposures for the red layer.  In this way I hoped to accent the nebulous star forming regions.