clear sky chart

Job 9:9

Job 9:9-10
9 He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
10 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

NGC4565, The Needle Galaxy

The Needle Galaxy, a large barred spiral galaxy seen almost perfectly edge-on.  The name was given to its narrow profile.  This is a bright galaxy that Charles Messier missed.  William Herschel discovered this galaxy in 1785.

NGC4565 is between 30 and 50 million light years away, and is about 100,000 light years across (One light year = about 6,000,000,000,000 miles) , and is located in the constellation Coma Berenices.  The small galaxy on the top right is NGC4562.

This image is a composite stack of 10 - 5 minute exposures taken with a Canon T3 at ISO 400.  The telescope used was an Orion 8", f/5 Newtonian reflector.  It is about 16 X 2 arcminutes in size.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

NGC2903 and Bode's Nebula

Imaged two objects this evening, NGC2903 and Bode's Nebulae.

NGC2903 is a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Leo, the Lion.  It was discovered by William Herschel in 1784.  It is relatively bright, at 9.7 magnitude, and is a fairly large target, About 13 X 6 arc minutes.  It is about 31 million light years away.

The other object imaged was Bode's Nebulae.  Also known as M81 and M82, these 2 galaxies were discovered by Johann Elert Bode in 1774,

M81 is a grand spiral galaxy, and is a large, bright object, at 27 arcminutes across from our perspective.  It is about 7th magnitude, so it is visible in binoculars.  It is the largest galaxy in the M81 group which contains about 30 galaxies,averaging about 11 million light years away.

M82 is a very interesting galaxy.  Even though it is smaller, The core of M82 is an active starburst region.  New stars are being formed there at an incredible rate.  The starburst activity is thought to have been triggered by interaction with neighboring galaxy M81.

Visually, the 2 make for a rather striking pair.  Both will easily fit in a 1 degree field of view, so this image was taken with a DSLR and an 8", f/5 Newtonian reflector.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Witch Head Nebula

This is an object that I've been wanting to get for a long time, but havent had the equipment to do such a wide field shot until relatively recently.  The Witch Head, IC2118 is a couple of degrees long, and is extremely dim.

For this faint reflection nebula, I used an Astronomik CLS clip in Canon filter on the T3.  It consists of 25 - 5 minute exposures from my suburban sky.  I could not detect it at all with no filtering.

I'm sure that from a darker site, I would be able to get more detail in the cloud formation, but I was able to get the basic shape.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Orion Nebula and the Rosette

Some new images were taken last night.  We had a nice clear night, which we havent had lately.  I wanted to see if I could capture some of the faint dust around the Orion Nebula with some filters that I didnt have a year ago.

I was able to get some of the dust, but with little detail in the dust.  However I was not even able to detect it before using the filter.

This image was taken with the Astro-Tech AT72ED with the .8 field flattener.

After imaging Orion, I thought I would go for the Rosette a little to the East of Orion in the constellation Monoceros.  I've imaged this one a number of times before, but thought I'd do it again...

Nothing special with this one.  I used the same equipment as I used on Orion.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

What better way to start a new year than to wake up at 4AM to take a couple pictures of Jupiter.  I saw a post on Facebook from a prominent planetary imager talking about a newly discovered outbreak.  If I'm not mistaken, this first image captured it.  There is another one in the SEB too, but that one is facing away from this shot.

Sorry the image is a bit soft.  I had problems attaining focus, but I believe he was referring to the bright white spot on the NTB near the CM.

The next image was taken about an hour later, with somewhat improved focus.  Seeing appeared to be decent, but I believe the scope's optics were out of collimation.  I hope I have that corrected now for the next imaging session.

There appears to be more detail on this one.  I am quite out of practice imaging planets, the last one was Mars and Saturn last summer.  I do try to get at least one early Jupiter image every season to see what changes have taken place.  This year, there are some big changes.  A number of belts are becoming more prominent this year.  We should be seeing some really good pictures coming up later in the year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

NGC772, The Nautilus Galaxy

Tried to get a din galaxy, something I havent tried to do in awhile.  These objects typically take a lot of exposures to get them to come out well.  This image however was taken using only 8 frames.  I had clouds move in which cut my session short.

What you see here is a really large spiral galaxy, about twice the size of the Milky Way, but its about 130 million light years away. The light we are seeing left this galaxy during a time when early dinosaurs were roaming the Earth, when the first freshwater turtles appeared on Earth.  The distorted spiral arm was caused by interaction with one of the fuzzy specks to the right of the galaxy, another satellite galaxy.