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Old 04-06-2019, 12:04 AM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Centaurus A - Deep Wide Field (and the jet)

This deep wide field 52.5hr exposure (my longest ever!), collected over 10 nights, is centered on the region around the enigmatic galaxy Centaurus A.

Perhaps all seen for the first time, in the one image and in full colour, this 4deg X 4deg vista showcases several rarely viewed characteristics of this famous galaxy and the surrounding field, they include:

1) The full extent of and the bipolar nature, of the huge galactic halo around Centaurus A, which covers a whopping 1.25deg of sky!

2) The extent of Halpha emission in the dark dust lane that runs across the centre of the galaxy.

3) The (red) relativistic jet, emanating from the super massive black hole at the core of Centaurus A, that is spewing material 100,000 light years into the outer reaches of the huge galaxy halo.

4) The extremely faint spread of galactic Cirrus dust hovering above the plain of The Milky Way, both reflecting the (mostly blue) light of the millions of stars in our galaxy as a whole, as well as emitting very faint red Halpha light of its own (from the traces of Hydrogen mixed in with the dust), making the dust a weak blue-red colour.

The enormous dynamic range in this image was indeed a challenge to handle, from the ultra faint and tenuous galactic Cirrus (around 27-28mag/squ arc sec in places) to the super bright core of Centaurus A. I have tried to keep the variations as proportional as possible, to keep the scene real and as natural as possible. I also went easy on the contrast so as not to lose any of the faint dust in the seemingly dark/black areas, that are not, the stuff is everywhere!

Not only did it take 10 nights to gather all the data for this image, with me faithfully guarding my rig and turning my dome the whole time...it also took: about 12hrs of travel time (back and forth to and from the observatory), about a case and a half of beer (drunk both at the observatory and in front of the computer during processing), about 6 Maccas burgers, 70 nuggets, 7 lots of gravy loaded fries and 7 cokes (24hr Drive through on the way home 7 of the 10 nights) aaaand about 8-10hrs processing over three days...

Needless to say, as my first serious imaging project with the new AP1600GTO mount, it performed absolutely flawlessly over the 10 nights, consistently autoguiding (without PEC) with average guide errors around the 0.2 arc sec mark! ...loved watching that guide star ...I have a fetish

Centaurus A Deep Wide Field (click on image and surf around with your cursor)

Or look HERE for a large version

EDIT: Over 100,000 light year long!! Relativistic Jet

Hope you find this a unique view of a popular southern target

Mike
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Last edited by strongmanmike; 16-06-2019 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:26 AM
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A brilliant image Mike. Wow, That jet is really well shown and is longer than I thought.

A lot to see and explore in this one.

Greg.
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Old 04-06-2019, 07:05 AM
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Very beautiful image, Mike, and a super-human effort at 52 hours. Wow, all those stars reminds me that it is a good thing that Olbers' paradox isn't a paradox at all!


Peter
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Old 04-06-2019, 07:08 AM
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Old 04-06-2019, 07:43 AM
Placidus (Mike and Trish)
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Wonderful! All goals achieved spectacularly.

Seeing the jet in natural colour is special. Seeing the extreme extent of the halo is special. Showing all that and the super-faint stuff in our galaxy, and still keeping good colour is special.
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Old 04-06-2019, 08:27 AM
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Spectacular Mike, so much to see. Your mounts accuracy is a thing to behold. 52 hours
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:17 AM
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Crackerjack image there Mike - leading from the front again!
Well done
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:26 AM
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Beautiful Mike

All that Ha makes it look like a squished jam scone, a tasty one at that. And loving all the cirrus
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:47 AM
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Absolutely stunning image Mike!
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:03 AM
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A fascinating and informative journey around Centaurus A and the surrounding areas. Wonderful work Mike
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:18 AM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Wow, thanks so much everyone, so glad you like it. It was a bit of effort to get to the end result with this one but nice feedback like this makes it all worth it . Sometimes the most imaged objects in our sky can have hidden details not normally revealed and it is fun to dig them out

Mike
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:29 AM
Imme (Jon)
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I think you should put it through Starnet to get rid of those pesky stars
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:38 AM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imme View Post
I think you should put it through Starnet to get rid of those pesky stars
He he, yeah should ...actually, the sheer number of stars in the field is one of the things I love about this image, so they ain't going anywhere

Mike
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:03 AM
Stevec35 (Steve)
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As I've said in another forum, nice work Mike

Steve
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Old 04-06-2019, 12:23 PM
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Aw...c'mon Mike! Now you're just showing off! How about you leave some photons for us mere mortals!

Far out, that is an absolute ripper! Love the red jet.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:14 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
Woohoo it's clear

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevec35 View Post
As I've said in another forum, nice work Mike

Steve
Cheers again Steve

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart View Post
Aw...c'mon Mike! Now you're just showing off! How about you leave some photons for us mere mortals!

Far out, that is an absolute ripper! Love the red jet.
Ha! Naaah, not showing off, just sharing the child like excitement of drinking beer and eating Maccas in the early hours of the morning, with all my friends

Thanks Bart

Mike
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:38 PM
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traveller (Bo)
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What Borat said!
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:59 PM
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Interesting how you have captured captured more h-alpha
with a 0.1 metre aperture in 52 hours and in different locations to the ESO 2.2 metre image
(sorry, animated gif on the link...the .gif file was over the IIS 200k limit) metre with virtually the same exposure (50 hours)
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:12 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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What Borat said!
Cheers Bo

Mike
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strongmanmike View Post
Ah Ward and another one of his misguided, attempted, denigration roll overs, don't you ever get sick of this narcissistic ****e you have been doing it for yeeears and to so many people, give up
There was no denigration in my post Mike.

I kept it very neutral...and simply posted a link to allow others to decide for themselves.

And to be frank I don't think you did anything shifty, it's a nice picture and the h-alpha blend is more likely a rookie error... blending in noise before checking whether the signal was real or not.....
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