Here’s an interesting pairing in the night sky. Meet M97 planetary nebula and M108 spiral galaxy from the Messier Catalog of deep sky objects. While they look side by side from our perspective here on Earth, M97 is actually 2,600 light years distant while the Surfboard galaxy M108 is a whopping 45 million light years away!

Both M97 and M108 can be found in the constellation of Ursa Major (aka The Big Dipper). They are only 2 degrees away from the bright star Merak in the bowl of the Big Dipper.

In this video above, I’m imaging M97 and M108 with my telescope. Go behind the scenes with me and see how the data is captured using SGP acquisition software and processed in Pixinsight!


  • Skywatcher Esprit 100 F5.5 Triplet
  • Moravian G3 16200EC CCD w/ 5 position FW
  • Optolong R-G-B 2″ filters (synthetic luminance was created from RGB data)
  • Skywatcher EQ6 mount / Skyshed Pier
  • Pegasus Astro Focus Cube
  • Orion Starshoot autoguider / PHD2 guiding
  • Sequence Generator Pro for automation/acquisition of data
  • Processed in Pixinsight 1.8
  • Seeing/Transparency average to good
  • Imaged from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada