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Markarian's Chain

Astrophotography: Markarian’s Chain in Virgo Cluster

|Galaxies|3 Comments

Markarian's Chain is an impressive photography subject for those with a camera and telescope to capture it.  This string of 7 distinct galaxies is a member of the Virgo Cluster and epitomizes the types of astrophotography subjects available during galaxy season. On Friday Night (Good Friday), I was spoiled with a second consecutive clear night sky.  The moon would rise above the horizon by 11:30 pm, so I had a few hours of moonless imaging time to squeeze in. Markarian's Chain is a prominent feature within the impressive Virgo Cluster of galaxies.  M87 is the brightest member of t…

astrophotography tutorial

Remove Gradients in Your Astrophotos with Photoshop

|Tutorials|7 Comments

Adobe Photoshop is the preferred weapon of choice for many astrophotographers of varying levels of experience.  The intuitive user interface and limitless image processing capabilities make it a real contender in the astrophotography world. The seamless integration with the .RAW image files produced by a Digital Camera makes Photoshop an attractive choice for photographers using popular Canon and Nikon DSLR's. It continues to be my personal favorite tool for processing astrophotography images. Whether you are brand new to astrophotography image processing, or a seasoned vete…

The Leo Triplet

The Leo Triplet of Galaxies

|Galaxies|2 Comments

The Leo Triplet is an interesting group of 3 galaxies that are often observed and photographed within a single field of view. The Leo Triplet includes spiral galaxies M65, M66, and NGC 3628. This group of galaxies is also known as the M66 group, and is found in the constellation Leo.  Each one of the galaxies is tilted at a different angle, making them all appear quite different from each other from our vantage point on Earth. NGC 3628 (The Hamburger Galaxy) is seen edge-on, with dark dust lanes that obscure the bright core of the galaxy. M65 and M66 are on angles that show off their b…

CCD Camera vs. DSLR for astrophotography

CCD vs. DSLR – A New Learning Curve

|Camera|8 Comments

Like many of you, I love shooting astrophotography with my DSLR.  I control my Canon Rebel T3i with BackyardEOS to capture deep-sky objects through my telescope.  Then, the real fun begins by processing the images in DeepSkyStacker and Adobe Photoshop. This method has worked for me for years, and there is lots of room to expand my astrophotography skills using this setup.  I favor this system because it is beginner friendly, and it's where I can help others get started. However, I couldn't turn down an opportunity to try out the new ASI071MC-Cool for the first time.  Let's ta…

8 Deep Sky Targets for Galaxy Season

|Galaxies|8 Comments

In the astrophotography realm, Galaxy Season refers to the period in Spring when the night sky offers up a slew of incredible galaxies to observe and photograph.  From early March until Mid-May, the window of opportunity for night sky enthusiasts is open to those who wish to a wide variety of different galaxies. Astrophotography in the Spring Whether you own a large SCT (Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope) or a small refractor, galaxy season means an opportunity to focus on a new array of deep-sky objects that are well-deserving of your attention. The thought of photographing another galaxy full…