Messier Galaxies

Messier 31: The outer arms of the galaxy imaged using the Planewave scope on 16th November 2017.

Messier 33: in Triangulum. The image on the left was taken with the FSQ-106 scope at f/5 and is an LRGB of 60:30:30:30.  This galaxy is very large and although "bright" appears faint in a telescope.  The image to the right was taken with the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera on 17th October, 2014.  This is an LRGB of 60:40:40:40 minutes and shows some of the interesting areas of nebulosity and the bright blue stars in the spiral arms.

Messier 51: The famous face-on spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici.  This galaxy is fun to image, and in darkest skies you can make out the spiral arms visually in the C-14 scope at about 250x.  This image was taken on 11th June 2007 and is an LRGB of 60:40:40:40 through the C14 scope and using an ST10-XME camera.  Grateful thanks to colleague Jay McNeil for his help in processing the data.

Messier 61: is located in the massive Virgo galaxy cluster and was discovered by Barnaba Oriani in 1779.  It is an intermediate barred spiral and this image, taken in Spain on 22nd June, 2017 using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera is an LRGB of 60:40:40:40 minutes. 

Messier 63: the "Sunflower" galaxy in the constellation of Canes Venatici. This galaxy gets it's name from the flocculant nature of the arms, clearly visible in the main image. This photo, taken in Spain on 15th May, 2018 is an LRGB of 60:40:40:40 minutes using the Planewave scope and the QSI683 camera.

Messier 64: The famous "Blackeye Galaxy".  A close examination of this image shows that the black eye is in fact a wall of gas and dust surrounding the centre of this galaxy, which is located in Coma Berenices, just behind the tail of Leo, the Lion. This image, taken in Spain on 9th June, 2013 with the PlaneWave/ST-10XME combination is an LRGB of 60:40:40:40 minutes.

Messier 65: in Leo.  A member of the Leo Trio of galaxies, M65 is a beautiful standard spiral with a neat dust lane clearly seen in this image.  It is member of the Leo 1 sub-group of galaxies at distance of 31 million light years.  This is an LRGB of 60:30:30:30 minutes with the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera, taken in Spain on 30th May, 2019.

Messier 66: Another of the "trio", M66 is a barred spiral, and this image shows how one of the arms is distorted through interaction with NGC 3628, the third member of the group. The image was taken in Spain on 15th February, 2015 using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera and is an LRGB of 60:40:40:40 minutes.

Messier 74: Imaged in Spain on 11th November, 2015 using the PlaneWave telescope and QSI 683 camera. This magnificent face-on spiral in Pisces is so faint that for a long time it was classified as a globular cluster - only the rather brighter core being visible in smaller telescopes.  It is similar in structure to M33 but is more than fifteen times further away, at 40 million light years.

Messier 77: An interesting Messier, this active "Seyfert" galaxy on the left was imaged as an LRGB of 50:40:40:40 mins in November 2011 in Spain.  Image processing has brought out detail in the core, the little spiral arms and also the larger fainter structures surrounding the main galaxy (image to the right).

Messier 81:  a fine spiral galaxy located close to Messier 82 in Ursa Major.  It was discovered by Bode in 1774 and added to Messier's catalogue in 1781.  M81 is about 10 million light years away from us and has a diameter of about 70,000 light years.  The image was taken in Spain on 15th February, 2015 using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera and is an LRGB of 60:40:40:40 minutes.

Messier 82:  Located in the constellation of Ursa Major, this is a magnificent magnitude 8.4 galaxy, of an irregular and peculiar nature. The core is very irregular in profile and severed in two almost equal parts by a diagonal dark band.  This image of M82 was taken on 7th December, 2013 with the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera.  It is an LRGB of 60:50:50:50 minutes.

Messier 83:  a beautiful galaxy way down in the southern sky in the constellation of Hydra.  It was discovered by Lacaille at the Cape of Good Hope in 1752 and Messier added it to his catalogue in 1781.  It is 22 million light years distant and is part of the Centaurus Galaxy Group. This image, taken on 29th May, 2019 is an LRGB of 60:30:30:30 minutes using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera.

Messier 88:  is very close in the sky to the Virgo galaxies, but is in fact in Coma Berenices.  Discovered by Messier in 1781 it is one of the giant spiral members of the Coma-Virgo supercluster, lying near the northern end of 3 degree long arc of galaxies, that begins in Virgo with the M84/M86 pairing.  The image was taken on 31st May, 2019 using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera and is an LRGB of 60:30:30:30 minutes.

Messier 91:   is another of those Messier objects about which there is some dispute regarding its true identity.  Current thinking is that this object, NGC 4548 is the correct candidate, but there is even a suggestion that M91 might have been a comet.  This image is an LRGB of 60:30:30:30 minutes taken on 22nd June, 2019 using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera.

Messier 95:  Discovered by Mechain in 1781, M95 lies 31 million light years distant and is a member of the Leo I galaxy cloud. At magnitude 9.7 this barred spiral galaxy forms an interesting Greek "Theta" letter and has a very bright core, as seen in the image. The theta shape can just be seen visually in our telescope using averted vision. 

Messier 99:   in Coma Berenices.  Part of the Virgo cluster of galaxies, M99 is 4.6 arc minutes in diameter and was discovered by Mechain in 1781.  It is about 70 million light years distant and has the largest recessional velocity of the cluster, at 2,380 km per second.

Messier 100:   is a large spiral galaxy in the Coma-Virgo galaxy cluster.  We are looking at this galaxy face-on, and several  other galaxies are also visible.  This image was taken in Spain on 1st June, 2019 using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera and is an LRGB of 60:30:30:30 minutes.  65 million light years away, M100 is large.  It is 130,000 light years in diameter and was entered into Messier's catalogue in 1781.

Messier 101:   the "Pinwheel" galaxy in Ursa Major.  An image taken at the La Divisa Observatory on 20th April 2006.  Image details are - 4 inch Takahashi FSQ-106 refractor at f/5.  SBIG ST-8XE CCD camera cooled to -15C.  Ten 5 minute luminance and ten 5 minute images each in red, green and blue.  Stacked and processed in MaxIm DL and then further processed in Photoshop. 

Messier 104:   The "Sombrero" galaxy in Virgo.   M104 is 65 million light years distant, has a diameter of 135 million light years and is sixteen times brighter than our galaxy.  This image was taken at our Spanish observatory on 30th April, 2014.  It is an LRGB of 80:40:40:40 minutes, imaged using the QSI camera on the Planewave scope. 

Messier 106:   is a large and interesting Seyfert galaxy in the constellation of Canes Venatici.  It is thought that the central area is being devoured by a massive black hole as there are strong X-ray emissions. This is an LRGB of 60 minutes luminance and 30 minutes for the colours, taken on 19th June, 2017.

Messier 109:   Can be found in the constellation of Ursa Major. This barred spiral galaxy was viewed by Messier but was not added to his famous catalogue until the 20th century.  M109 is 46 million light years distant, glowing at magnitude 9.8 and with a true luminosity of 19 billion of our suns

Messier 110:   one of the satellite galaxies of Messier 31, the great galaxy in Andromeda.  This galaxy is surrounded by globular clusters, several of which are visible in this LRGB image of 60:30:30:30 minutes taken with the C14 at f/7 using the ST8 camera.  The image was taken on 4th January, 2007.