Thursday, 04 July 2019 14:50

Messier 4 is a globular cluster located in the constellation of Scorpius. M4 is one of the nearer globular clusters at a distance of 7,200 light years. It was one of the first globular clusters to be resolved as a collection of stars by Charles Messier who added it to his catalog in 1764. A relative small globular cluster as it only contains 20,000+ plus stars. It may have had more stars in its past, but it's orbit takes it through the Milky Way's disk where it could loose stars due to gravitational interactions. 

Wednesday, 29 May 2019 01:58

Globular cluster M92, less well known than the more famous M13, despite being one of the brightest globular clusters in the northern hemisphere. It is also estimated to b one of the oldest globular clusters at an estimated 14.2 billion years old. 

Wednesday, 29 May 2019 01:55

Messier 13, the Great Globular cluster located in the constellation of Hercules. It is one of the brightest and best know globular clusters in the northern hemisphere. The cluster has a diameter of around 145 light years and contains about 300,000 stars.

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.

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 17:16 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.