Galaxy photographer hero: Adam Block!

The cosmos at our fingertips.
User avatar
4725 Å
Posts: 13544
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Galaxy photographer hero: Adam Block!

Post by Ann » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:54 am

To the surprise of no one who knows me at all, I love RGB photographs of galaxies. There are two reasons. I find galaxies apart from ellipticals so beautiful, and RGB images are so extremely good at revealing the properties of the galaxies that interest me. Yellow menas old stars. Blue means young stars. Pink means emission nebulae. Dark brown means dust. And neutral means intermediate-aged stars.

So easy! So beautiful! :D

And there are so many spiral, irregular and generally disk-shaped galaxies around. There are so many galaxies whose RGB color properties I'd like to see! But guess what, there are some galaxies that get all the attention and some galaxies that are unexplicably ignored.

Let's consider the Messier galaxies! M31 gets photographed a lot, obviously. Dwarf galaxy and M31 satellite M32 does not get RGB-photographed a lot at all, but that's understandable, I think. Thanks, Jean-Charles Cuillandre of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope.

M33 gets photographed a lot. Of course. M51 is pretty much "everybody's favorite galaxy".

M58? I'll come to it? M59? It is a small elliptical galaxy, and I don't know if it deserves all that much attention. M60? I'll come to it.

M61? It is actually a moderately well-photographed object, although when I googled it, I mostly found images of it by - guess! Adam Block! - and Robert Gendler, another true astrophotographer hero. The image I linked to is by Robert Gendler, although I must point out that Robert Gendler has made better pictures of M61 than this one.

M63 is a popular galaxy. The image is by Salvatore Grasso. Here is a much less colorful picture of it.

M64 is a favorite galaxy, to be sure!

M65 doesn't get that much attention, except when it's photographed with its more photogenic neighbor, M66.

M74 is many people's favorite galaxy, and it gets photographed a lot!

It was harder than I thought to find an acceptable RGB image of M77, but the galaxy is far from ignored.

M81 is surely one of the most-photograhed galaxies in the sky! So is M82, even though I would have preferred an amateur image of this galaxy. I don't trust Hubble to give me RGB.

M83 is another favorite galaxy. The image looks like a Hubble picture that has been RGB-processed by Robert Gendler, although I'm not sure.

M84, 85 and 86 are large elliptical galaxies and not necessarily very interesting-looking in RGB. Giant elliptical galaxy M87 gets photographed regularly because of its jet, and also because of its incredible number of globular clusters, not seen here.

Very large spiral galaxy M88 is somewhat ignored. I'll come to it.

I'm not too sure what M89 is, but M90 gets a moderate amount of attention. I'm not sure, but this looks like an old Adam Block image!

I didn't find too much when I googled M91, but this is - surprise! - an old Adam Block image, in cooperation with Thomas and Gail Haynes.

M94 is a fascinating and moderately well-photographed galaxy.

I found a nice image of M95 by Bob Birket.

The best RGB image of M96 I could find was - can you guess? - by Adam Block and R Jay GaBany!

M98 is a relatively ignored galaxy. This picture is by Bruce Waddington. But there is an old, but fairly good, image of it by Adam Block, too.

M99? I'll come to it.

M100 doesn't get quite as much attention as this majestic galaxy deserves, but this is a fine image by Salvatore Grasso.

M101 is a very frequently photographed galaxy. This is a Hubble Legacy Archive picture, beautifully processed by Robert Gendler.

I have been unable to find a good RGB picture of M102. This is a Hubble picture of M102 processed by Robert Gendler, but the galaxy looks confusingly blue in view of the obviously old population of the galaxy. The B-V index of the galaxy makes it yellower than the Sun.

M104 is a galaxy whose color properties are similar to those of M102. This Dean Jacobson image looks realistic when it comes to color.

M105 is a relatively featureless elliptical galaxy, but M106 gets quite a bit of well-deserved attention.

M108 is quite ignored, and this image isn't even an RGB image, but a B+I image.

There aren't many good RGB images of M109, but one of the best is, typically, an old picture by Adam Block and Dale Swanson.

The best image of M110, Ngc 205? I haven't seen a better picture than this one by Adam Block!

Let me return to M58 and M99. I first saw these galaxies as black and white pictures in Burnham's Celestial Handbook. Both these galaxies looked fascinating, but they have been sadly ignored. Particularly M58. I have to wonder why. They are large, important galaxies, spiral galaxies in the Virgo Cluster.

Now these two galaxies have been gloriously imaged. Guess by who? Adam Block, of course. Please look at this page to see Adam Block's latest galaxy images. Note that M58 is his latest galaxy image, and M99 was the one before M58. Look at the intricate details of them!

Oh, and M60! Adam has recently imaged M60 and its spiral satellite galaxy NGC 4647.

And look at Adam's picture of M95! And his picture of M88! And his picture of M100! And his picture of M64! And... and... well, just look at them all, all of his pictures!

Adam, I've said it before and I have to say it again here at Starship Asterisk: You are my RGB galaxy hero! Thank you!

Last edited by Ann on Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
Color Commentator

Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 4:18 am

Re: Galaxy photographer hero: Adam Block!

Post by ngc1535 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:56 am

Hi Ann,

Not many visitors are seeing this page... but I did- and I want to thank you very much for your continued support of my efforts. It is greatly appreciated and very rewarding.