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M46967 viewsMessier 46 (M46, NGC 2437) This open cluster is very rich, with 150 stars of mag 10-13 and probably a total population of over 500. The brightest of these stars are of spectral type A0, and each about 100 times more luminous than the Sun (the brightest is of apparent magnitude 8.7). This indicates an age of about 300 million years. As a special and famous feature which is also obvious in my photograph, a planetary nebula (NGC 2438, also FC 87) appears within the apparent borders of M46. This object appears to lie near the northern fringes of the cluster. However, this nebula is not a true member but is superimposed, or perhaps a passing "guest". The distance of the cluster is 4,600 light years and only about 2,900 light years for the nebula
The Whale Galaxy in Canes Venatici744 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).
NGC 246 (The Skull Nebula)965 viewsNGC 246 is a small planetary nebula in the constellation of Cetus. The nebula was discovered in 1785 by William Herschel and gets its nickname due to its resemblance to a human skull. NGC246’s central star, is a white dwarf that is entering its final phase of evolution becoming a hot white dwarf. This image was taken on Oct 23, 2016 with an 8" TPO RC telescope, Canon 60Da camera, on a Celestron CGE Pro mount. Stacked with Nebulosity 4 and edited with PixInsight 1.8
Barred Spiral Galaxy in Leo1037 viewsNGC 2903 is a intermediate weak-barred spiral galaxy (SABbc) found in the constellation Leo. Discovered by W. Herschel in 1784, NGC 2903 is approximately 20 to 30 million light years away. Image was taken with a 12.5” f/9 RCOS telescope and a SBIG STF8300c camera with an OAG (ST-i) on a Paramount ME. Image a total of 15 hr 20 min of combined exposures taken on 12, 13 Jan and 8,9,12 Feb 2016 in Mayhill, NM (46 x 1200 sec lights @ -15 degrees C, dithered; 30 darks; 128 bias; 128 flats). Processed in PixInsight
The Messier 78 region1016 viewsMessier 78 is a blue reflection nebula (larger nebula near the center of the image) that is found in the constellation Orion. Several other reflection nebulae can be seen in the image along with extensive clouds of dust (dark molecular cloud Orion B). The red emission nebula in the lower right-hand corner is part of Barnard's loop. Image is a total of 11 hr 30min exposure (46 x 15 min lights, dithered; 12 darks; 128 flats; 128 bias) taken on the nights of Nov 6, 2015; Jan 12, 13, 2016; Feb 8, 9, 12, 2016 with a Takahashi FSQ106ED with reducer @ f/3.6; Canon 60Da @ ISO 800; Astro-Physics 1200 mount; and Astro-Physics/Baader 60 mm guider (SBIG ST-i); Processed with PixInsight (with Bayer drizzle algorithm).
Open Clusters M 46, M47, and NGC 2423 in Puppis740 viewsThe open clusters Messier 46, Messier 47, and NGC 2423 are found in the constellation Puppis embedded in a rich field of Milky Way stars. The small planetary nebula NGC 2438 that appears to be in M 46 is actually not associated with the cluster. M 46 was discovered by Messier in 1771. Smyth describes it as a “A noble, but rather loose assemblage of stars” (Smyth and Chambers, A Cycle of Celestial Objects, 2nd Edition, 1881, Oxford) whereas Webb describes it as a “Beautiful circular cloud of small stars” (Webb, Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes, 4th Ed, 1881, Longmans, Green, and Co ). William Herschel observed the small planetary nebula NGC 2438 in 1786. M 47 was also discovered by Messier in 1771 but not intermediately attributed to Messier due to a mathematical mistake in his coordinates. The cluster was described by Smyth as “a very splendid field of of large and small stars” (under the entry 38 H VIII) and Webb as a “Grand broad group, visible to the naked eye”. This wide field picture was taken with a Takahashi FSQ106ED with focal reducer (f/3.6), Canon 60Da DSLR camera (2.32 arcsec/pixel), and an Astro-Physics 1200 mount on 15 March 2015 in Mayhill, NM.. Total exposure of 1 hour (4 x 15 min lights, dithered; 12 darks; 128 bias; 64 flats); Baader/Astro-Physics guider system; Image acquisition with MaxIm DL; Calibration, alignment, integration, and image processing with PixInsight
The Rho Ophiuchi Nebulae IC 4604 and IC 46031217 viewsOn the border of Scorpius and Ophiuchus by Antares lies a complex region of dust, molecular clouds, and reflection nebula. In the center of this image is the triple star Rho Ophiuchi, which is surrounded by the blue reflection nebula IC 4604. Throughout the image large dust clouds are seen. To the right of IC 4604 is the smaller reflection nebula IC 4603. Image was acquired using a Takahashi Epsilon 180 f/2.8 astrograph and a modified Canon 40D DSLR camera on a Paramount. Images Plus 5.0 was used for calibration and stacking of the sub images. PixInsight 1.8 Ripley was used to process the image. Image was a total of 2 hours 40 minutes exposure (16 x 10 min lights, 13 darks, 64 flats, 64 flat darks).
Antares, M4 and the Rho Oph cloud1489 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.
Super Sunspot AR17461472 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.
NGC-69461677 viewsImaged at Steves's on 7-7-12. This is 10 - 15min exposures using SBig 2000XCM and a Tak FS102
M15 Globular Cluster in Pegasus1516 viewsMessier 15, a gobular cluster in Pegasus, which was originally discovered by Maraldi in 1746 and rediscovered by Messier in 1764, lies 30,600 light years away. Fourteen 120-second exposures aligned, calibrated, and combined in Images Plus; processed with Adobe Photoshop CS2; taken with a 178mm f/9 Astro-Physics refractor and a Canon 20Da DSLR camera (ISO 800).
Messier 46 and NGC 24381117 viewsThe open cluster Messier 46 and the accompanying planetary nebula NGC 2438 are found in the winter constellation Puppis. The open cluster contains 186 stars brighter than 13th magnitude and many more fainter stars. The cluster lies in our Milky Way galaxy at a distance of approximately 4480 light years from us. Image is a total of 1 hr 45 minutes exposure ( 21 x 5 min lights @ -25o C; 30 darks; 64 flats; Astro-Physics 130 mm f/8 refractor & 1200 mount; SBIG ST2000XCM CCD camera).
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