Gregg's Astronomy & Astrophotography
Recent Images 4/12/2017
NGC 3953 Galaxy in Ursa Major NGC 3953 Galaxy in Ursa Major. NGC 3953 is a barred spiral, about 46 million light-years distant, and part of the the M109 galaxy group.  Interestingly, it is also sometime cataloged as M109B.  This stems from the fact that Pierre Mechain discovered it on March 12, 1781, and Charles Messier observed it some 12 days later of March 24 (or at least he thought he had observed it).  There is a discrepancy in Messier's recording of the RA and DEC of the object, and he may have confused the nearby NGC 3992 (later M109) and NGC 3953.  Nevertheless, NGC 3953 sits in a field rich with other galaxies, as shown in this map of my image.  For a high resolution view of NGC 3953, see the image from Adam Block.
This image is an LRGB composite of 440:90:90:90 (11.8 hours total exposure) made from February 19-22, 2017, from my remote observatory in Animas, New Mexico.  I used an SBIG STL11000M camera and an ASA 10N astrograph to record the image. The data was acquired and assembled using CCD Commander and MaximDL with final processing done in  Photoshop

This page illustrates what can be photographed using amateur telescopes and a CCD camera.  I currently use an SBIG STL11000M camera and have previously used SBIG and Starlight Xpress cameras, as well as a Cookbook 245 camera that I built myself.  Most of the images in this web site were taken from my backyard near a busy street with several street lights.  Not only is the CCD camera a great imaging tool, but it allows "real time" observation of objects not normally visible in areas with moderate-severe light pollution.