Enchanted Skies


M33 - The Triangulum Galaxy (imaged from City of Rocks State Park)

NGC 2264 - The Christmas Tree Cluster and Cone Nebula Map of the region near M33


Object Information                                            Imaging Details

The Triangulum Galaxy gets its name from its host constellation. In a very dark sky, the Sc spiral galaxy is visible to individuals with an extremely keen eye (that doesn't include me). For those who can see it, M33 is the most distant object observable with the naked eye at 2.78 million light-years (for comparison, the Andromeda Galaxy is 2.52 million light-years distant). M33 may be a large satellite galaxy to the much larger Andromeda Galaxy. The view of one of the galaxies from the other must be breathtaking.

M33 is easily viewed with any telescope (or even with binoculars; however, seeing detail such as the galaxy's arms requires a telescope of at least 12 inches. It's a splendid object to observe through a 20" obsession.

I imaged this object at City of Rocks State Park during a recent Southern New Mexico Star Party. The park is an outstanding dark sky site.

Clicking the above image will bring up a higher resolution image.


Orion ED80

Canon 300D (type 1 modified)
Misc. Optics:
Williams Optics 0.8x reducer/field flattener
30 x 4 minutes @ ISO 800
ED80 piggybacked atop ATP wedge-mounted Celestron NexStar GPS11. Guiding with GuideDog using ToUCam.
Images aligned and stacked in Photoshop CS. Curves/levels adjustments ith Photoshop CS. Noise reduction with Noise Ninja.

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Enchanted Skies - Astrophotography by Rich Richins (all images copyright, Rich Richins)