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NGC 1499 California Nebula1343 viewsThe California Nebula (NGC 1499) is an emission nebula located in the constellation Perseus. It is so named because it appears to resemble the outline of the state of California on long exposure photographs. It is almost 2.5° long on the sky and, because of its very low surface brightness, it is extremely difficult to observe visually. It lies at a distance of about 1,000 light years from Earth. This is a Ha, G, B exposure.
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M76 - The Little Dumbbell909 viewsMessier 76 was discovered in 1780 by Pierre Méchain and cataloged by Charles Messier that same year. It wasn't until 1918 that M76's true nature as a planetary nebula was discovered by Herber Curtis. Located some 2,500 light years away in the constellation Perseus, M76 it is one of the faintest objects in the Messier catalog at magnitude 10.1. This image was taken from Alamogordo NM using an Astro-tech 130EDT f7 refractor and Atik 314L+ monochrome camera (130 min) using Ha, Hb and OIII signals.
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Massive Filament on the Sun931 viewsA dark filament of magnetism in the sun's southern hemisphere has curled upon itself to form a circle of gargantuan proportions. The circumference of the ring is almost a million kilometers (600,000 miles)! Magnetic filaments are very often unstable, and have a tendency to collapse. Filaments crashing to the surface of the sun can cause of a type of explosion called a Hyder flare. Any flare from this filament could be extra-energetic as it releases the tension stored in its million-km coil. Image taken from Alamogordo, NM on 11/13/15 at 10:14 AM MST (1714 UTC) using a Meade Instruments Coronado 90mm SolarMax II telescope and Imaging Source 41AU02 camera.
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Saturn: The Bringer of Old Age1043 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.
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The Sun929 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.
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Partial Lunar Eclipse 6/4/20121493 viewsOrbital dynamics of the Earth-Moon system are on display with the latest two pictures on our gallery page. On May 20th the Moon passed between the Sun and the Earth at its furthest point and created an annular solar eclipse. Steve caught a beautiful image from Albuquerque. Two weeks later on the morning of June 4th, the Moon passed partially through the shadow of the Earth creating a partial lunar eclipse. Venus will transit the Sun on the afternoon of June 5th.
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Milky Way Over Alamogordo2034 viewsThis is a widefield image of the Milky Way taken on 4/29/11 from within the city limits of Alamogordo using a Canon T2i Rebel DSLR on a CGE mount. Visible near the center of the image is Messier 8 (M8, or the Lagoon Nebula), M20 (Trifid Nebula), rich star region M24, open clusters M21, M23 and M25. Globular cluster M22 is visible near the bottom center. To see these objects and more for yourself - come out to our events at Oliver Lee State Park !
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103P/Comet Hartley 21425 viewsComet Hartley 2, officially designated 103P/Hartley, is a small periodic comet with an orbital period of 6.46 years. It was discovered in 1986. It will be the subject of a flyby by the NASA Deep Impact (EPOXI) spacecraft on November 4, 2010. This image was taken with the C9.25 @ f6.3 with a Canon T2i DSLR (2 ea. 30sec images at ISO 1600) on 10/10/10 at 8:50 PM MT (284:02:50 UT) from Alamogordo NM.
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The Hale 200-inch telescope1533 viewsThis summer we took a tour of Mt. Palomar Observatory. The 200-inch (5.08 m) telescope is named after astronomer George Ellery Hale. It was built by Caltech with a $6M grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, using a Pyrex blank manufactured by Corning Glass Works. The telescope (the largest in the world at that time) saw first light January 26, 1949.
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Moon: Tyco/Clavius crater region1545 viewsAn image of the Tyco/Clavius region taken from Alamogordo. Tyco (53 miles in diameter, near center of image) is a relatively young crater based on samples from Apollo 17. Clavius (140 miles in diameter, lower center) is a much older crater with several smaller craters inside of it. Image taken using the C9.25 with a Imaging Source DMK41AU02 camera and Lumicon H-alpha filter. This picture is surprisingly similiar to one in the Sep/Oct 2011 SkyNews (p.36).
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Mercury transit 11/08/061558 views90 mm Orion refractor, Celestron NexImage w/focal reducer
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Messier 13-Globular Cluster in Hercules1304 viewsWe were showing a number of globular clusters at our star party events at Oliver Lee State Park. Here is an image of M (Messier) 13 taken with the 6" SCT and a Canon Rebel XSi (15 min). (retouched after I got a new monitor)
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