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Open Clusters M 46, M47, and NGC 2423 in Puppis705 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
Bode's Nebula (M81 and M82)929 viewsMessier 81 (right) and Messier 82 (left) are located in the constellation of Ursa Major. These galaxies are relatively close to each other (about 150,000 light years) and easy to spot with a small telescope or binoculars. The image consist of 55 exposures taken with a Canon 60Da camera, Orion ED80T telescope, and a Celestron CGEM mount. Exposures were stacked with Nebulosity 4 and processed with Pixinsight 1.8
Hubble's variable nebula in Monoceros987 viewsHubble's Variable Nebula (NGC 2261) is a small 2 x 4 arcminute nebula found in the constellation Monoceros. One suggestion proposed for the observed variability is due to dust clouds near R Monocerotis periodically changing the nebula's illumination. The image was a total of 6 hr 20 min exposure with a 12.5” f/9 RCOS telescope and SBIG STF8300c camera (OAG with ST-i) on a Paramount ME (19 x 1200 sec lights @-15o C; 30 darks; 128 bias; 128 flats); Software: Sky X, MaxIm DL6, PixInsight
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.
Lagoon Nebula (M8) and Trifid Nebula (M20)925 viewsThe Lagoon Nebula (M8) on the left and Trifid Nebula (M20) on the bottom right are located in the constellation of Sagittarius. M8 is an emission nebula about three times the size of the full moon. The nebula’s brightest region is illuminated by two supper giant stars while the rest of the nebula is illuminated by the open star cluster NGC 6530. M8’s smaller neighbor, M20, is a combination of emission nebula (red) and reflection nebula (blue). The image consist of 4 hours of exposure taken with a Canon 60Da camera and Orion ED80T telescope mounted on a Celestron CGEM mount. Exposures were stacked with Nebulosity 4, processed with PixInsight 1.8, and minor cosmetic touches with Photoshop CS6.
Cygnus Loop886 viewsThe Cygnus Loop, located in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan, is a supernova remnant that occurred after a massive star exploded between 5,000 to 10,000 years ago. The loop is about 3 degrees in size and continues to expand. The data for this image was obtained on the 17th and 19th of Jul 2015. It consist of 67 X 5min exposures obtained with a Canon 60Da camera, Orion ED80T telescope, and a Celestron CGEM mount.
White Light Sun842 viewsSunspot AR2403 is almost 200,000 km long and is easily visible in this image taken from Maryland on 8/25/2015 using an Orion ED80T Triplet refractor and a color Atik 414ex camera. The telescope was equipped with a white light filter and the exposure was set to 0.001 sec. Light was further reduced by using a Moon filter in fromt of the camera. Great shot Chuck!
The Sun930 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.
Jupiter with Io and Europa1141 viewsJupiter was at opposition on Feb 6, 2015. In this image Jupiter is framed by its moon Io (L) and Europa (R). Image taken with a Celestron 6"SCT at f25 using an Imaging Source 21AU618 color camera. Stack of approx 2700 images using Registax 5.1, Lucy Richardson deconvolution, and Photoshop 7.0.1.
Orion Nebula (M42)947 viewsThe Orion Nebula (M42) is a diffuse nebula located in constellation of Orion. It is one of the most popular objects in the night sky and is visible with the naked eye from a dark location. Near the center you will find the Trapezium (the small group of four stars) containing some of the youngest stars in the Milky Way. Can you find the wolf face near the Trapezium? This image consist of 20 x 30 sec, 10 x 60sec, 5 x 180sec, and 5 x 300 sec images taken with a QHY-10 CCD camera, TPO RC telescope, and Celestron CGEM mount. Images were stacked in Nebulosity and processed in Photoshop CS6 utilizing layer masks to maintain the detail around the Trapezium.
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.
The Sun and Sunspot AR2297963 viewsThe Sun as of March 14, 2015. This image shows sunspot AR2297 (white area top-right) which emitted several M class solar flares. The image consist of 3,000 frames taken with an ImagingSource DBK camera, 60mm Solar Max telescope double stacked, Meade LX80 mount, stacked with RegiStax and processed with PhotoShop CS6.
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