M108 by Mearl Balmer

After my Comet ATLAS image the other night, I went over to the big bear, Ursa Major constellation (big dipper), and got a real clear image of M108 and M97 (lower right) nearby.   Messier 108 is a large edge-on galaxy over 45 million light years away, while the Owl nebula (left over gas remnants from a dying star) is only 3000 light years away.  Look for the dark dust lanes as you look into the edge of M108,  as well as the eerie eyes of the blue Owl.

This was a stacked composite image of 47 two-minute exposures for over one and a half hours late after midnight by my cooled color imaging camera (ASI071MC Pro).  The sky was really cold and clear, so my 8 inch telescope could get really good focus.  Not just a quick cell phone photo!   Also required over four hours of computer processing to remove atmospheric effects and bring out the weak objects so far away.  The NASA Hubble guys and a lot of professional observatory astronomers have passed on a lot of good computer techniques for amateurs over the past 10 years….we thank them!