Centaurus A, Chile

Centaurus A
Hacienda los Andes, Chile   –   February 20, 2023
— Ralph Paonessa
EOS R5   *   TEC APO200FL f/8   *   ISO 12800   *   f/8

The unusual galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5127) barely rises above the southern horizon in the California Desert, and only for a few hours each night in March and April. So it was one of my priority targets when I traveled to Chile for astrophotography, where it was high in the sky.

Thanks to Murphy's Law, I accidentally set my Canon R5 to take only reduced-size JPEG images instead of raw. Furthermore, the wonderful 8-inch refractor I used was tracking poorly, limiting me to exposures under two minutes. That required me to boost the ISO to 12,800, yet the excellent performance of the mirrorless R5 produced relatively low-noise images.

Finally, I was able to produce this image by stacking 24 JPEGs in PixInsight, with a somewhat unorthodox workflow to accomodate the laready non-linear (stretched) files.

Centaurus A is still a priority target for my next trip to the Southern Hemisphere, where I hope to improve upon this result.

24 x 105 sec = 0.7 hr

Photo ID: Centaurus A RGB v3