M64 – The Black Eye Galaxy
The image below of the Black Eye Galaxy was captured using an Explore Scientific ED80 Refractor riding on a Celestron CG-5 Equatorial Mount. The limited exposure time acquired on M64 means that I really had to push the data to reveal detail in the galaxy.
Photographed on: April 3, 2013
Telescope: Explore Scientific ED80 with WO Flat III 0.8x FR/FF
Mount: Celestron ASCG-5
Guiding: Meade DSI Pro II and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: Orion Mini 50mm
Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Stock)
Total Exposure: 1 Hours, 4 Minutes (16 x 240 Seconds)
Processing Software: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop CC
Support Files: 9 dark frames
Guided with PHD Guiding
Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker
Processed in Adobe Photoshop CC
M64 – Galaxy Season Target
A wide field refractor such as the ED80 is not an ideal choice for galaxy photography, especially for one as small as the Black Eye Galaxy. With that being said, I am still pleased with this portrait of M64 amongst a sea of stars in the night sky.
The dominating characteristic of the Black eye galaxy is the dark band of dust in front of the galaxies bright nucleus.
The Black Eye Galaxy is a Spring astrophotography target, in prime position for capturing (In the Northern Hemisphere) in March and April. For more astrophotography targets to shoot during galaxy season, view my post 8 Deep Sky Targets for Galaxy Season.
M64 has also been called the Evil Eye Galaxy, and the Sleeping Beauty Galaxy. With an apparent magnitude of 9.3, M64 is within the range of modest telescopes under dark skies away from city light pollution.