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Leo Triplet with Tidal Trail1002 viewsMessier 65, Messier 66, and NGC 3628 are commonly known as the Leo Triplet. M 65 is a spiral galaxy whose center is comprised of older yellowish stars (bottom left center of image). M 66 (top center) and NGC 3628 (top right center of image; aka the hamburger galaxy) are suggested to have had a past encounter that resulted in a faint tidal trail seen coming off the top of NGC 3628. The image was captured with a modified Canon 40D (ISO 800) and a Takahashi E180 f/2.8 astrograph on a Paramount. Total exposure time was 8 hours (48 X 10 min guided sub-exposures; 13 darks; 64 flats; 64 flat darks). Calibrated and stacked with Images Plus 5.0; processed with PixInsight 1.8 followed by final Levels and Curves adjustment in Adobe Photoshop CS6.
The Sun869 viewsThis image was taken from Alamogordo, NM on 8/8/2015 at 10:49AM MT using a Coronado 90mm SolarMax II telescope and Imaging Source 41AU02 monochrome camera. 688 images were stacked using Registax and a light LR deconvolution was performed before color added using Photoshop. Sunspot AR2396 is seen in the image and has grown by 50% in the last day.
Messier 27 in Vulpecula731 viewsMessier 27, which was discovered in 1764 by Charles Messier, is a bright planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula. The nebulosity is due to the expulsion of a star's outer layers in the later stages of its life and is illuminated by the stars intense radiation (blue star in the center of the nebula). Image was taken in Mayhill, NM on the nights of 14, 15, 16, 17 September 2015; total of 5 hrs 40 min exposure through an Astro-Physics 178 mm f/9 refractor with field flattener and an SBIG STF8300c camera with OAG (ST-i) on an Astro-Physics 1200 mount (17 x 20 min lights dithered @ -15o C; 33 darks; 128 bias; 128 flats); image acquisition with MaxIm DL 6.10 and processed with PixInsight Processing included Bayer drizzle, a Synthetic Luminance, and Multiscale Processing.
Saturn: The Bringer of Old Age981 viewsIn the ancient Roman myths Saturn was the god of agriculture, Greeks called Saturn Cronus - this is where we get the idea of Father Time. Saturn takes 29.5 years to orbit the Sun - thereby making it the slowest moving of the visible planets in the night sky. Saturn was 8.976 AU (~830 million miles) distant in this image. Image taken from Alamogordo NM with a Celestron C9.25 at f30 using an Imaging Source 21AU618 color camera and stacked with Registax 5.1 (3206 images) and L-R deconvolution using Astra Image 3.0 SI.
The Zeta Orionis Region1554 viewsImage of the Zeta Orionis Region in the constellation Orion, which contains both the horsehead and flame nebula. This is a visible light image taken with a modified Canon 40D and a Takahashi Epsilon 180 f/2.8 astrograph (3hr 15 min total exposure). It is interesting to compare it to Jim's Narrowband Image (6th previous image) of the area which essentially maps the concentration of Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulfur.
What a diiference a filter makes!1304 viewsHere is the Sun taken on 10/3/11 at 11:15 AM first in White light (left) and Calcium K (right) using a Stellarvue 80ED. The white light image shows a few sunspot groups while the CaK image shows much more detail and areas of increased magnetic activity. AR1302 is on the far right, nearly rotating out of view. The white light image was taken using an Orion glass filter and single snapshot from a Canon T2i. The CaK image was taken with an Imaging Source camera and Lunt B1200 CaK filter.
Orion and the Running Man986 viewsThe Running Man and the Orion Nebula taken with an Orion 80mm refractor and a Canon 60Da. The photo consist of three 2minute exposures.
Galaxies in Virgo and Coma Berenices1480 viewsMany galaxies are seen in the constellations Virgo and Coma Berenices. To the bottom left is seen the spiral galaxy Messier 88, in which young stars and active star formation are present. In the lower right corner is seen the elliptical galaxy Messier 87, whose golden brown coloration is suggestive of old stars and little if any star formation. In the upper right hand quadrant is a pair of galaxies, NGC 4438 and 4435, aka the Eyes or Arp 120. Exposure is a total of 13 hr 35 min (163 X 5 min).

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A Spiral Galaxy in Leo49 viewsMessier 66, aka M66 or NGC 3627, is a spiral galaxy (semi-barred) found in the constellation Leo. M66 belongs to a group of galaxies including M65 and NGC 3628 known as the Leo Triplet. In the past, it is likely that M66 that encountered NGC 3628. M66 lies around 31 to 33.5 million light-years from us. Image is a total of 10 hr 40 min combined exposure taken with a Takahashi CCA-250 f/5 astrograph with a QSI683wsg CCD camera mounted on a Paramount ME on the nights of 28, 29 March, 3, 29 May 2019 and 15, 26 April 2020 in Mayhill, NM (19 x 1200 sec Lum; 4 x 1200 sec R; 5 x 1200 sec G; 4 x 1200 sec B all at -20 degrees C.; 128 Bias; 22 Darks; 128 Flats for LRGB, respectively). Processed in PixInsight 1.8.8-7 Ripley (x64).Apr 10, 2021
The Ring Nebula in the Constellation Lyra73 viewsM57, the ring nebula, is found in the constellation Lyra. M57 is a planetary nebula, which is an expanding shell of gas ejected from a star in the later stages of its evolution. The image captured the outer halo structure of M57 as well as the galaxy IC 1296 (see annotated image on the Facebook page). Image is a total of 9 hr 20 min exposure taken through a 12.5” RCOS f/9 astrograph at f/6 (Astro-Physics CCDT67 reducer) with a SBIG STF8300m CCD camera on a Paramount ME on the nights of 18, 19, 22 May 17, 19 June 2020 in Mayhill, NM (13 x 1200 s lights, 5 x 1200 s blue, 5 x 1200 s red, 5 x 1200 s green all at -15 degrees C). Processed in PixInsight 1.8.8-6 Ripley (x64).
Mar 17, 2021
Jan 2019 lunar eclipse524 viewsJanuary 20, 2019 lunar eclipse taken with Borg 71FL refractor and Canon 1000D DSLR on a Vixen alt-az mount. Single exposure 0.8 sec, ISO 400Jan 22, 2019
The Perseus Cluster of Galaxies564 viewsThis image of the Perseus cluster of galaxies, also known as Abell 426, is centered on NGC 1275. NGC 1275 is a giant elliptical galaxy, which is a radio source and x-ray emitter. Abell 426 is part of the Pisces-Perseus supercluster, which contains over a thousand galaxies. The image is a total of 9 hrs exposure with a Takahashi CCA-250 f/5 astrograph and a QSI683wsg camera (Astrodon Gen2 filters) on a Paramount ME taken on the nights of 7 Nov, 3, 13 Dec 2018 in Mayhill, NM (18 x 1200 sec lights; 3 x 1200 sec R, G, and B at -20 degrees; 24 darks; 128 flats; 128 bias). Processed with PixInsight Ripley (x64).Jan 18, 2019
Open Cluster in Cassiopeia 527 viewsThe open cluster NGC 663 is found in the constellation Cassiopeia. NGC 663 contains a significant number of Be stars (spectral class B stars showing emission lines in their spectra). The distance from us is on the order of 2,100 parsecs (6850 light years). The image is a total of 5 hrs 20 min exposure taken with a 12.5” RCOS f/9 @ f/6 (Astro-Physics CCDT67) and SBIG STF8300m camera on a Paramount ME in Mayhill, NM on the nights of 28 Nov and 3 Dec, 2018 (6 x 1200 sec R; 5 x 1200 sec G & B; 24 darks; 128 bias; 128 flats). Processed in PixInsight Ripley (x64).Jan 18, 2019
A Large Emission Nebula in Cassiopeia582 viewsNGC 281 is a H II emission nebula in Cassiopeia containing the open cluster IC 1590, which powers the ionization of the hydrogen gas. Large dust filaments as well as Bok globules, which may be the site of future star formation, can be seen. The image is a total of 5 hrs 20 min exposure in H alpha light. Image taken with a Takahashi CCA250 astrograph and QSI683wsg camera on a Paramount ME on the nights of 13, 15 Dec, 16 Nov 2018 in Mayhill, NM (16 x 1200 sec lights @ -20 degrees C. Astrodon H alpha filter 5 nm bandwidth; 24 darks; 128 bias; 128 flats). Processed with PixInsight Ripley (x64). Oct 19, 2018
An Edge-On Spiral Galaxy in Coma Berenices587 viewsNGC 4565, sometimes referred to as the Needle Galaxy, is an edge-on galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices. One can see the galaxy's yellowish central core, which is divided by obscuring dust lanes running the length of the equatorial plane. Total exposure was 10 hrs 20 min taken with a Takahashi CCA-250 f/5 astrograph and QSI683wsg CCD camera (Astrodon Gen2 filters) on a Paramount ME in Mayhill, NM on the nights of 8, 15, 16 May; 17, 18 June 2018 ( 21 x 1200 sec lights; 4 x 1200 sec R; 3 x 1200 sec G; 3 x 1200 sec B all @ -20 degrees C; 24 darks; 128 bias; 128 flats for each channel). Processed in PixInsight Ripley (x 64). An annotated image can be found on the Amateur Astronomers facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AmateurAstronomersGroup Sep 07, 2018
The Whale Galaxy in Canes Venatici614 viewsNGC 4631 is found in the constellation Canes Venatici. The wedge-shape of this galaxy gives rise to its nickname, the Whale Galaxy. The starburst regions of this galaxy can be seen in the photo, which are due to intensive star formation. Tidal interactions of NGC 4627, which is seen just above NGC 4631, has been suggested as one of the reasons for the active core of NGC 4631 (as well as tidal interactions with other nearby galaxies). The small edge-on galaxy at the top of the image is PGC 3794315 (NASA Extragalactic Database). Total of 5 hr 40 min exposure taken with an SBIG STF8300c CCD camera and a 12.5 inch RCOS f/9 astrograph operating at f/6 (Astro-Physics CCDT067 reducer) mounted on a Paramount ME on the nights of 8, 15, 16 May 2018 in Mayhill, New Mexico (17 x 1200 sec Lights @ -15 degrees C; 15 darks; 128 bias; 128 flats). Processed with PixInsight Ripley (x64).Jul 13, 2018