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Saturn1128 viewsSaturn taken with a Takahashi Mewlon 300 Dakin 2.4x barlow and an Imaging Source DBK21AU618 OSC camera from Mayhill NM (2600 stacked images using Registax 5.1). Saturn lies about 900 million miles from Earth. It's disk measured 17.9 arc sec at its equator (with rings 40.6")
Solar Upheaval1053 viewsThe last few weeks have seen the emergence of several large sunspots as solar maximum peaks. Active Region 1967 is wider than the planet Jupiter and its primary dark cores are big enough to swallow Earth many times over. This image was taken in Calcium-K (393.4 nm) from Alamogordo, NM using a 90mm refractor at f20, and Lunt B1200 Cak module and Imaging Source 41AU02 camera.
Space Shuttle Endeavour1042 viewsTook a tour of the Endeavour exhibit in Los Angeles, CA. For more images of the shuttle, check out our AAG Facebook photo album. Endeavour flew to the Hubble Space Telescope on servicing missions and to the International Space Station and installed the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.
Super Sunspot AR17461427 viewsSunpots are cooler regions in the photosphere where the magnetic field pops through and cools the surrounding plasma. The latest large sunspot rotated into view on May 5 and is the largest since 2003. Active Region (AR) 1476 spans about 160,000 km (100,000 miles) in this image. Image taken on 5/11/2012 using a 90mm refractor at f30, Lunt solar wedge and 532nm filter with a DMK41AU02 camera. See live images of the Sun on our "PLANETS" page.
Supernova in M951355 viewsA Type II supernova recently exploded in M95, a galaxy approximately 33 million light years away. Type II supernova are generated when large massive stars "die" and blow up. Heavier elements such as iron, gold, silver and uranium are created in about a second then scattered into the cosmos. The supernova is still about magnitude 13 so its still pretty dim (given its large distance). Imaged using a 6" SCT at f6.3 using an Atik 16IC camera (32 min exposure).
The Active Sun in Hydrogen Alpha1224 viewsThis image was taken through a 40mm Coronado PST of the Sun on 12/27/2011 at 1925UT. The photograph is centered on the hydrogen alpha emission line at 656.28 nanometers (nm) and shows the chromosphere. Active Region 1384 is the dark region near the center of the photograph. A very large prominence is seen erupting along the rim of the Sun on the right.
The Comet and the Cluster1125 viewsComet Garrardd (C/2009 P1) is making a pass through the inner solar system. Early Febuary 3rd it came near Messier 92, a globular cluster in the constellation Hercules. Diatomic carbon (C2) is common in comets giving them a green glow. While its too faint for the naked eye, its an easy telescope target. It will make it closest approach to Earth on 3/5 at 1.27 AU. Captured with a Borg 71FL astrograph and Canon T2i (9 min, ISO 1600) from Alamogordo, NM.
The King of the Planets1187 viewsJupiter is visible in the early morning almost directly overhead in late September/early October. Larger than all the other planets combined, its only 1/1000th the mass of the Sun. The bands visible in the atmosphere are due to upwelling compounds whose exact nature is not quite known. Ultraviolet light from the Sun caused the compounds brown, orange and other colors. Imaged taken using a 5" SCT at f25 (~3750mm) using an Imaging Source 21AU618 color camera (1/45 sec exp, 3316 fr cap/2875 stacked /90% qual)
The Lagoon Nebula1139 viewsThe Lagoon Nebula (cMessier 8 or M8, and as NGC 6523) is a giant interstellar cloud in the constellation Sagittarius. The Lagoon Nebula is estimated to be between 4,000-6,000 light years from the Earth. The nebula contains a number of Bok globules (dark, collapsing clouds of proto-stellar material). Imaged using a 100mm F7.2 refractor (112 min) and Hap Griffin modified Canon 1000D DSLR (ISO 800).
The Owl Nebula1188 viewsThe Owl Nebula (Messier 97, or M97) is a planetary nebula in the Big Dipper about 2600 light years away. The nebula formed about 6,000 years ago when a Sun-like star died. The nebula gets its name from the owl-like "eyes". This narrowband image consists Hydrogen alpha, Hydrogen beta and Oxygen emission lines captured through a 120mm f/8.3 refractor and Atik 314L+ camera (109 min total exposure).
The Red Rose1384 viewsSh2-275 is also known as the Rosette nebula and is a star forming region in the winter sky. Ionized hydrogen gas gives it a red color. The Rosette is about four times the size of the full Moon and is approximately 5200 light years away and about 130 light years in diameter. Open cluster NGC 2244 is located near the center of the nebula. Taken with an Orion 100ED f/9 telescope and modified Canon 1000D camera, 60 min exposure.
The Ringed Planet1276 viewsSaturn is the 6th planet from the Sun at a distance of about 900 million miles. The rings are composed primarily of water ice with particles the size of snowflakes up to house-sized boulders. The rings extend almost 50,000 miles above the planet and average about 60 feet thick (paper thin indeed). To learn more about Saturn, go to our "PLANETS" page. Celestron C9.25 at f25, Imaging Source 21AU618 color camera.
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