Wednesday, 15 May 2019 17:48

Supernova 2019ein a type 1a is located in the lenticular galaxy NGC5353 in the galaxy cluster of Hickson 68. Imaged the night of May 14, 2019.

Annotated image follows.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019 23:54

Messier 3 is one of the largest, brightest globular cluster in the night sky. It contains an estimated 500,000 stars. Located in the constellation of Canes Venatici at a distance of 33,900 light years away from Earth. The cluster contains more than 274 variables stars, with most of them being the RR Lyrae type of variable.

Saturday, 27 April 2019 15:28

Leo Triplet (M65, M66, NGC 3628) in my favorite orientation. The galaxies form part of the M66 Group. The three galaxies show signs of gravitational interaction in the past. M66 has drawn out spiral arms that show a high rate of star formation. NGC 3628 has a long tidal tail stream visible in deep exposure image, in addition to it's warped disk in our edge on view.

Friday, 26 April 2019 15:57

Open Cluster NGC2423 located in Puppis located about 2,500 light years away. At least one exo-planet has been confirmed orbiting a the red giant star NGC2423-3 with a mass of 10 times of Jupiter. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2019 18:08

Messier 81 is a spiral galaxy about half the size of the Milky Galaxy with a diameter of 90,000 light years, lies about 12 million light years away.

Messier 82 has a diameter of 37,000 light years and is classified as a star burst galaxy. It is undergoing rapid star formation most likely caused by gravitational interaction with M81 and NGC 3077.

NGC 3077 is an elliptical galaxy that appears to have been disrupted by M81 and M82. All of these galaxies belong to the Messier 81 galaxy group. One of the closer galaxy groups to our own Local group.

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 17:16

iTelescope.net is an web based network of remotely controlled telescopes currently based in four areas. The service has telescopes based in New Mexico, and California in the United States, in Spain, and in Australia. Using a web browser, one can control or upload a planned observation that can reserve telescope time and execute automatically at the appointed time. It describes itself as a Self-Funding Observatory with most of the profits invested back into upgrading their operation.

Friday, 01 July 2016 22:01

Here are a few of the images I've taken with the new camera and equipment. Still working out the bugs with the new equipment and camera.

First up is the Great Globular Cluster in the constellation of Hercules. Imaged under a full Moon, so not the best imaging conditions.

Friday, 03 June 2016 21:49

Just received a new camera, and no charge for the extended cloudiness that comes with any astronomical purchase. Received a just out ASI 1600MM-Cool camera. It is a 16 megapixel 4/3 CMOS sensor, that has a resolution of 4656 x 3520 pixels, and a pixel size of 3.8 nanometers. It also has a two stage TEC cooling system that can take the sensor down to 40C below the ambient temperature. It also has a very low read noise, which is good for deep sky, and with its relatively high frame rate it can also be used as a planetary camera. Looking forward to trying it out in both types of imaging.

 

 

Saturday, 23 April 2016 15:35

 After using the dome for several years, started thinking about the next observatory. Wanted the capability of using two scopes in those seeming rare clear moonless nights, and the ability to image without having to rotate the dome. At the time, automating my dome was looking rather difficult and expensive.

Settled on a roll off roof observatory, and after doing research, ordered plans for a SkyShed RoR. Picked the 10 foot by 10 foot one, based on my ability to haul the supplies, and most likely I would be building it by myself.

Thursday, 21 April 2016 14:44

 When you first start astrophotography, it quickly becomes apparent how much a convenience a permanent setup brings. First you have to bring out the tripod, the counterweights, and the scope. Then haul out the power, either battery(s) or A/C cord. Then a table for the computer, then the computer. Then all the cables to control the mount, the cameras. Then the mount has to be polar aligned with the axis of the earth so the mount can track objects better as they rotate through the sky. Of course, by then, clouds will appear out of no wheres.

So a high priority was to build a permanent setup for the scope and equipment. I decided to tackle building a dome, well because I think domes are cool. They also do a great job of blocking wind, reducing dew, and any stray light, which luckily I don't have much of a problem with.