Astrophotograph of Coddington’s Nebula IC 2574

This is my astrophotograph of Coddington’s Nebula IC 2574. It is a small, irregular galaxy with star-forming regions, as indicated by the telltale pinkish regions of glowing hydrogen gas which are just visible in this image. IC 2574 is part of the M81 group of galaxies, seen toward the northern constellation of Ursa Major. A study has revealed that 90% of its mass is dark matter.

This target was quite a challenge. It has a very low surface brightness and I optimistically tried to observe it under a full moon on 6 May having failed to collect many subs on 24 April due to unforecast cloud rolling in. I used the Altair quad-band filter as a light pollution filter, hoping to cut out significant amounts of moonlight. The filter has done its job and I think the processed image with a total integration time of 7 hr 44 min is respectable enough under the circumstances. It would, I think, still benefit from a lot more integration time under darker skies.


  • 38× 265-s light frames (Gain 900) on 24 April 2020
  • 67× 265-s light frames (Gain 900) on 6 May 2020 (with full moon)
  • Full calibration frames (darks, flats and dark flats from various sessions)


  • Explore Scientific ED 102 mm Apo f/7 refractor
  • Sky-Watcher EQ5 PRO SynScan GOTO equatorial mount
  • Altair Hypercam 294C PRO colour fan-cooled camera
  • Revelation Adjustable Field Flattener
  • Altair quad-band one-shot colour (OSC) 2″ filter
  • Altair 60mm guide scope
  • Altair GPCAM2 AR0130 mono guide camera


  • Sharpcap
  • PHD2
  • DeepSkyStacker
  • Photoshop
  • Topaz Labs DeNoise AI

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