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
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.
© Phil Terzian