M81, M82 & Integrated Flux Nebulae
I had first photographed this amazing pair of galaxies M81 and M82 back in 2008 but it wasn't until I was studying one of Tony Hallas's tutorials that I first saw his amazing image of M81 surrounded by Arps Loop & Integrated Flux Nebula, from that point on one of my goals was to capture this faint nebulae that lies only a few hundred light years distant. At the time I failed to realize just how difficult this extremely faint IFN would be to capture from my mediocre "4.0 on the bortle scale skies" My first succesful attempt using an F5.5 Refractor required a minimum of 30 minute exposures.
In stark contrast for this latest capture I needed only 4 and 5 minute exposures in both luminance and color due to the extremely fast optics of the F2.8 Takahashi. Captured Using the full frame QHY11 Monochrome CCD @ -20C gave me this image covering an area 2.61 x 4 degrees and a total integration time of 4.2 hours.
Additional data from an earlier shoot of mine was used for detail within the M81 and M82 galaxies.
About the IFN (Integrated Flux Nebula)
Spread throught this image can be seen a lot of dust which is made up of diffuse gas and dust clouds eminating from our own Milky Way Galaxy only a few hundred light years away and above the plane of the milky way and not from the vecinity of the M81 and M82 galaxies which lie at approximately 12 million light years from us.
Markarian's Chain & Surrounding Galaxies
Seen in this image just to the right of center forming part of the gigantic Virgo Cluster Of Galaxies. Captured from my backyard observatory in Fremont Michigan April 6th 2014 using a QHY11S Monochrome CCD and a Takahashi E-180 F2.8 Astrograph. Mouse over to see identified galaxies.
(annotated image courtesy of astrometry.net) Total Exposure/Integration time 1.5 hours
© Terry Hancock 2013. Use of any of my images without my permission except for personal use is prohibited.
Astrophotography by Terry Hancock