Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti

M2 - Globular Cluster




Globular Clusters are essentially islands of hundreds of thousands of stars that were formed at a similar time about 13 billion years ago---about the same that our galaxy formed. These clusters orbit at the periphery of our galaxy, with almost 150 of them scattered around the Milky Way galaxy.  M2 is believed to be 13 billion years old and contains 150,000 stars, the brightest of which have evolved into red and yellow giants.  M2 shines at magnitude 6.6 and has an apparent size of 16 arc minutes. It is located roughly 38,000 light-years from Earth and has a true size of 175 light-years in diameter making it one of the largest known globular clusters.


  • Date & Location:  September 22-23, 2014 - StarEffects Observatory - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Breezy with some cirrus, average temp on both nights 48F

  • Sky Conditions:  Average transparency N1, Above Average N2 

  • SQM-L: Average 20.37 N1, 20.46 N2

  • Optics:  TeleVue NP101is Refractor with 1.5x extender 810mm @ f8.1

  • Filter:  Astronomic  EOS clip-in CLS-CCD (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  AstroPhysics AP900GTO

  • Guiding:  SSAG - 5 seconds exposures - Good Graph both nights.

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500D) Hap Griffin Modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  10 x 1min ISO800 / 8 x 3 min ISO800 / 12 x 5min ISO800 (total 1 hr - 34 min)

  • Calibration Frames:  Darks, Bias 50F - 10 Field Flats & 10 Dark Flats w/Alnitak Flat Man

  • Processing:    Images Plus 5.75a, PS CS6, NIK filter tools 

  • Comments:  Three sets of images were first combined & processed in Images Plus.  These three images were then aligned via the Translate, Scale, & Rotate method.  This final master image was then processed in PS CS6. 



Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors