Messier 49 is a giant elliptical galaxy located in Virgo. Part of the Virgo B sub cluster of the Virgo super cluster, it was the first member of the cluster identified. The galaxy stretches across 157,000 light years and contains over 200 billion stars. It also has some 5,900 globular clusters. Having no signs of large scale star formation, it mostly consists of older yellow and red stars giving it a pale yellowish color. It is currently interacting with dwarf irregular galaxy UGC 7636.
Discovered by Charles Messier in 1777.
Quick capture of Nova Sgr 2021 No.2 (V6595 Sgr) from last night. Discovered on April 4th, currently around Mag 8.
Located in the asteroid belt, it is the largest of the stony type asteroids, and contains around 1% of the mass of the asteroid belt. It is thought to be core remnant but where the crust and mantle was stripped off in a collision. It has an orbit period of 4.3 years and is in a 7:16 resonance with Mars.
It is named after the minor Greek goddess of law and order, Eunomia.
Short video clip of its motion over a few hours.
Newly discovered SN2021hiz located in galaxy UGC 7513 in the Virgo constellation. Discovered March 30. Type 1a supernova, created by a white dwarf in a binary system. Further brightening is expected before it fades away.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.