|Telescope / Lens||TEC 140mm f/7 APO Refractor
|Mount Type||Astrophysics 1200|
|Filters||Astrodon LRGB e-series of balanced filters (g-1)|
|Exposure||4 hours 20 minutes, LRGB 10 min. & 5 min. subs|
|Processing||CCDSoft, CCDStack, AIP, Photoshop CS2-CS6|
|Location||Snow Peak, S/E of Cottage Grove, Oregon|
|Conditions||4658′ elevation, magnitude 6 Skies; Clear|
Abell 2151 Hercules Galaxy Cluster
Abell 2151 Hercules Galaxy Cluster is a cluster of approximately 100 galaxies 500 to 650 million light years away within the constellation of Hercules. The brightest galaxy NGC 6050 and is interacting spiral galaxy 24″ x 18″ magnitude 15.4 , also known as NGC 6050A and NGC5060B. Data on this group continues to change as more is learned. Most current information list a general distance of 509 million light years and 300 member galaxies.
I am amazed what a 5.5″ APO Refractor can do and coupled with an SBIG ST10XME CCD (KAF3200 CCD Chip) can really go deep. The camera is one of the most sensitive front illuminated CCD chips available. The quantum efficiency is around 85-86% at peak.
So I attempted my own Deep Field, while setting up remotely here in Oregon for one night. I wanted to go as deep as I could and took over 4 hours of CCD images to capture as many galaxies as possible. My Luminous frames were 5, 10 and 20 minutes. I have counted over 200 plus galaxies in this image. The are so many tiny specs that, when compared to a Hubble Telescope image, they are in fact galaxies. I am confident some of these galaxies are over a billion light years away. In perspective, that would mean a medium sized amateur telescope and CCD went back one twelfth the age of the Universe…
You can see several interacting galaxies that are within the Hercules Cluster. While this is no-where near what larger instruments can resolve with long exposures I am pleased with what a small telescope can accomplish in one night.