From the top, row by row, we have M87 and a closeup of its relativistic jet; on the next row: Hickson 61 - a structure known as "The Box" in Coma Berenices
consisting of four galaxies arranged in a very precise looking quadralateral, NGC4676, known as "The Mice Galaxies" - a colliding pair of galaxies also in the same constellation;
and on the last row, NGC4038/NGC4039 called the "Antennae Galaxies", for a reason unfortunately not apparent from my picture, and lastly, a slightly longer exposure of the
center of the Coma Cluster - nearly all of objects shown are actually galaxies! I thought I would try my hand at some significantly smaller and fainter galaxies in and around the Coma Berenices cluster.
I was pretty happy with the results, given my rather limited exposure time of 20sec per frame (except for the Coma Cluster which was done
at 30sec per frame). The following comments probably apply only to short unguided exposures like the ones I use for all of my pictures.
There doesn't seem to be much benefit in handpicking frames - it helps for planetary nebulae (see below) - but for galaxies, the
overall exposure time seems to be the more important factor. I'm guessing that because planetaries tend to be generally bright, you can
afford to be more selective with respect to quality - in other words, it pays to have fewer sharp frames, than more blurry frames.
On the other hand, for galaxies, with such short exposures it pays to just have more of them. Any loss in detail can often be overlooked
because the detail is difficult to see anyway! Nevertheless, I was able to pull out some interesting small scale features even so, using
about 80 frames each at ISO 3200 for M87, but ISO6400 for all of the others. All of these were taken on the nights of May 4th and 5th, 2013.