Stargazing & Bikepacking

Not-so expensive astronomy and some bikepacking stories

UGC 1840 and 46P/Wirtanen

Not much going on right now when it comes to astronomy. Biking, working, family and studying are more important to me at the moment. But still… there’s a robotic telescope on Tenerife I can easily use and also a comet nearby. So, here they are.

First up, a picture of UGC 1840 a.k.a. ARP 145. It’s not actually an interacting galaxy but more of a ring-shaped galaxy. Which is also cool. I shot this in 9x120s using the Open University’s robotic telescope located on Tenerife. It’s a simple registration and stack done in Siril followed by DDP in Nebulosity 2 and levels adjustment in Gimp.

UGC 1840 inverted and cropped

UCG 1840 field

It’s not much to look at, I know. But it’s a very cool object visible in large telescopes only. Maybe the most fascinating in this picture are the faint fuzzies in the background. Almost all of those are not stars but entire galaxies in their own right. That happens often in astrophotos but to me those are still amazing every time they catch my eye.

Then there was P46/Wirtanen. Yesterday I drove out 3 minutes because in my garden it’s SQM 19.3 and just out of town its 19.8 – 20.1 depending. I could not catch a glimpse of the comet without help of my 10*50 bino. With it, the comet was easily seen as a round smudge in the sky. Not all too bright actually. Hopefully it will get a bit brighter still because then it could truly turn into a naked eye comet. Right now it just isn’t. Panstarrs it wasn’t but still a nice catch!

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