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.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Heart and Soul mosaic

Re-imaged the Heart and Soul using the AT72ED and .8 reducer to slightly widen the field.  Created this mosaic to show the proximity of these 2 objects.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Messier 8 and Messier 20

Two objects which lie near to eachother in the sky are the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulas.  Both located in Sagittarius.

This object was the first image while using a .8 focal reducer/field flattener on the AT72ED.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cherry Springs State Park

Armed with a new telescope, I ventured out to Cherry Springs to get a few images.  I concentrated only on big objects.  This is the ideal location to get large faint objects because with the exceptionally dark skies, the background gradients are almost nonexistent.

I was totally happy with my NGC7000 image from the last post, so I didnt bother imaging that one again.  I did want to get the Heart and Soul, which I was unable to do before this.  Also wanted to get the Veil Nebula, to see how much of it I could get in one frame.

I warmed up with the Andromeda Galaxy before starting on the dim stuff.

Since Andromeda came out so well, I then went over to Cassiopeia and got the Heart.  These emission nebulae are difficult to do in white light, but its so dark at Cherry Springs, that one does not really need any filters to do a decent job with them. 

After the heart, I moved the scope a couple degrees over to the Soul Nebula.  This one was a little brighter and required less image processing.  I was able to image them both and they both fit in the frames.

Couldnt quite get the entire veil nebula complex in one frame, but I was able to get the witches broom and Pickering's Triangle.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

NGC7000 - First Light With Astro-Tech AT72ED

Purchased an Astro-Tech AT72ED.  I havent imaged with a refractor since I first started doing planetary imaging back in 2010.  This new little refractor is a wonderful piece of hardware.  Its wide field views opened up a whole new realm of objects that I have not been able to image before.

For the first image, I opted to go with the North America Nebula.  I was able to fit the majority of the North America and Pelican Nebula in the same frame, and the image came out fantastic!

The field of view is just under 2X3 degrees.

The nebula is a cloud of ionized hydrogen.  The shape is formed by dust which hides portions of the cloud which gived this the shape of North America..

Saturday, June 6, 2015

M64, M27 and M57

Took a few images  today of a galaxy and a couple planetary nebulas.  The first one I'll feature is M64 in Coma Berenices.  This 9th magnitude galaxy is about 25 million light years away.   The Black Eye comes from a patch of dark dust which obscures the bright part of the galaxy behind it.

The next object is a fun one to image, and its been photographed to death.  Messier 27, or the Dumbbell Nebula.  It looks like an apple core to me...  The remnants of a dead star is about 1350 light years away in the constellation Vulpecula.  The central star is a white dwarf, and is the largest white dwarf known.

The 3rd object, I've imaged before, M57, the Ring Nebula in Lyra.  This is an easy object because it is quite bright.  Although bright, it is small.  Although it can be seen in binoculars, they wont provide enough magnification to be able to tell what it is.  A telescope 6 inches in diameter, and about 100 power will show its ring like appearance.

Friday, May 8, 2015

M104 in LRGB

For this one, I used my Orion G3 with color filters (RGB) and my 6" scope.  M104, also known as the Sombrero Galaxy is in the constellation Virgo, about 31 million light years away.  The Sombrero is a spiral galaxy with a large central bulge, and a dark dust lane which makes it look like the Mexican hat.

I dont do too many LRGB images, because of the work involved.  The object needs to be imaged 3 times, each with a red, green and blue filter, then combined to create a composite color image.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Leo, Hercules and Coma Berenices

Was all over the sky this evening.  I began the evening imaging the Leo Trio of galaxies  (M65,  M66 and NGC 3628.  This is another favorite target by a number of imagers.

After taking a few frames of these galaxies, I aimed a little northeast of these to the constellation Coma Berenices and took a few shots of NGC4565, an edge on spiral galaxy about 43 million light years away.

The little galaxy on the right is NGC 4562.

Lastly, M13 was imaged.  I tried something I've never tried before with a deep sky object.  I used a 2x barlow, therefore doubling the focal length to 1400mm and also doubling the f-stop to f/10.  The stars still look good with the long focal length, and they still appear to be pinpoints.

The barlow just might be worthwhile when imaging small objects.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rosette Nebula 3/11/15

Another object I've imaged before.  I'm repeating these so that I have a record of improvements I've made in the different objects as I learn more about capturing and processing these images.  The Rosette Nebula,  SH2-275 or Caldwell 49 is a hydrogen rich region in the constellation  Monoceros.   Monoceros is located one constellation east of Orion.

This is a big object, over 1 degree in diameter.  It almost will not fit in the field of view of a 700mm focal length telescope imaged by an APS-C crop sensor DSLR.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Orion Nebula

Although this object has been imaged by just about every astro photographer, I thought this particular image of M42 is one of my best to date.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Comet Lovejoy, C/2014 Q2 1/13/15

I am sooo far behind in posting to the blog. I've been posting to Facebook, but I really should update this site. I'll go ahead and try to catch up on the 2 years since I've posted.

I've been somewhat active in imaging the sky, and my images have been improving over time. I'm learning how to get better images from my own driveway which rival what I've done at Cherry Springs in the past. The first image I'm going to talk about briefly is this image I took on 1/13/2015. I dont image comets very often, but Comet Lovejoy was in the perfect location, almost at zenith when this was taken. The image was taken with a 6", f/5 Newtonian from my driveway in New Middletown, OH.

Comet Lovejoy is a long period comet, originating in the Oort Cloud.  It has a period of about 8000 years.
The blue-green color of the comet and tail is caused by water and organic molecules fluorescing under the ultraviolet light from the sun.  It peaked at about 4th magnitude about the time this image was taken.