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This is the face on spiral galaxy M101, in the handle of the Big Dipper. This was a 60 minute exposure taken with my 8" SCT with f6.3 focal reducer. It is, so far the longest exposure I've been able to make. As it was, I had to act as a windbreak so that the ST-4 would not lose its guide star. THAT was a long, cold 60 minutes. It was also done with the ultimate of no-no's in autoguiding. I used a 500mm Maksutov to guide a 8" SCT. The only reason I think this worked as well as it did was that M101 was directly overhead, so the mirrors were all settled in position. I left this image small because the stars are somewhat out of round due to optical aberations, wind and possibly some mirror shift.

Once again, I'm looking forward to shooting this with my 12.5" on a calm, clear night from a good dark site.


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michael regish
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