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Venus Transit - Calcium K1364 viewsThe AAG and Oliver Lee State Park hosted a Venus transit event on 6/5/2012 to witness this "once in a lifetime event". This photo was taken using a Stellaruve SV80ED refractor, a Lunt B1200 Calcium-K module and Imaging Source DMK41AU02 camera at the event. Venus and Earth are roughly the same size- so this gives a good approximation of the size of the Sun compared to the Earth. Multiple sunspot regions also speckle the image. The AAG also had white light and hydrrogen-alpha telescopes for the crowd to witness the event.
IC 1275 region1247 viewsIC (Index Catalog) 1275 is an emission nebula located within a rich star field in the constellation Sagittarius. The red color is due to ionized hydrogen gas (HII regions) being excited by nearby stars. Image taken through a Borg 71FL and modified Canon XS DSLR (two hour exposure, stacked with Nebulosity and processed in Photoshop).
Antares, M4 and the Rho Oph cloud1241 viewsAntares is the bright star at the lower left of the image. It is over 700 times the diameter of our Sun. Globular cluster Messier 4 is seen on the lower right. The Rho Ophiuchus cloud complex is the closest star forming region to our solar system (~430 lght years away). The cloud complex is much larger than can fit in this image. Blue reflection nebula IC 4605 seen about mid-left, and IC4603 seen middle-top are created by interstellar dust. Borg 71FL astrograph with a modified Canon XS DSLR 36min exp.
A Tale of Two Stars1228 viewsHere are basic spectra from two familiar stars in the night sky. Vega's spectra is on the left and basically has weak spectral lines based mostly on the Hydrogen Balmer series. This is indicative of a fairly young, hot star. Betelgeuse's spectra is far more complex. We can see spectral lines for Barium, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium and compounds like Vandium Oxide and Titanium Oxide indicative of a star near the end of its life. Data collected with amateur equipment and processed through RSpec software.
Super Sunspot AR17461215 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.
Mare Nectaris/Theophilus crater1176 viewsThe Sea of Nectar (Mare Nectaris) is a small lunar mare located on the eastern edge of the Moon. Theophilus is the prominent lunar impact crater that lies slightly off center of the image to the left. Theophilus is over 60 miles in diameter and is 14,000 feet deep. The small crater in Nectaris near the top of the image is Rosse and is only 7 miles across. Image taken with a 6" SCT at f20 using a DMK 41AU02 camera through a Lumicom 656 nm filter.
The Red Rose1161 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.
Orion nebula complex1158 viewsNot the greatest picture - but a test of the new Borg 71FL astrograph with the modded Canon XS DSLR. This is a 25 minute exposure at ISO 1600. Come out this winter to see the Orion nebula for yourself at Oliver Lee State Park.
Supernova in M951132 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 Ringed Planet1057 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.
The Active Sun in Hydrogen Alpha1023 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 King of the Planets987 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)
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