Photo of the Week

A Draco Galaxy Trio by Drew Patterson

A Draco Galaxy Trio by Drew PattersonCircling high overhead on summer evenings is the meandering star pattern of Draco the Dragon. In spite of the constellation’s considerable size, it doesn’t possess a single Messier object. But that’s not to say Draco is devoid of interesting deep-sky targets for observers and astrophotographers. For example, there’s the trio of galaxies pictured here (from left to right): NGC5985, 5982 and 5981. They’re found just north of the “blade” of the Draco “hockey stick,” which comprises Zeta (ζ), Eta (η), Theta (θ) and Iota (ι) Draconis (see chart #51 of Pocket Sky Atlas). All three galaxies are quite faint, with NGC5985 and 5982 being the brightest, each around magnitude 11. The slender edge-on NGC5981 is a challenging magnitude 13.6.

The Draco threesome were captured by Drew Patterson from Horseshoe Valley, Ontario. He used a SBIG STF8300C CCD camera attached to a Celestron C11 telescope to acquire the 15, 900-second frames used to create the final image.

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Categories: Photo of the Week
4 comments on “Photo of the Week
  1. T.H. Guiler says:

    WOW!!! What an incredible image. Hats off to Drew Patterson for this amazing piece of Astro-art.

  2. T.H. Guiler says:

    Oops, I should have said Astrophotography-art.

  3. Sid says:

    Loved the image. Keeps us dreaming and wishing for more dark warm nights!

  4. Al McAdam says:

    Great photo Drew, I have the SBIG 8300 and a 9.25 Edge HD and I tried to duplicate your shot but I now know I will much more time as I only shot 20 X 4 minutes. I will keep trying, however, I was having star trails guiding that close to Polaris. Any ideas on the settings for PHD2 to combat the problem of star trails? Cheers Al

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