Wednesday, 20 November 2019 13:45

Messier 76 is a planetary nebula located in Perseus. Sometimes referred to as the little Dumbbell Nebula or Barbell Nebula. Spanning around 1.2 light years across and located some 2,500 light years away makes it one of the more challenging Messier objects.

Saturday, 09 November 2019 02:50

NGC 7741 A barred spiral located in the Pegasus constellation. A barred galaxy has a central bar with spiral arms trailing off of the bar. Many additional distant background galaxies are also in this image.

Friday, 01 November 2019 21:10

It is an open cluster located in the constellation of Cassiopeia. It is a small and remote cluster at a distance of about 10,000 light years and contains around 100 members. It has an estimated age of around 25 million years.

Friday, 25 October 2019 14:33

One of these lights is not like the rest, tiny NGC 7662 aka The Blue Snowball. It is a planetary nebula located in the constellation of Andromeda. The bright star in the top left corner is 13 And.

Annotated image follows...

Thursday, 24 October 2019 12:47

Open cluster NGC 6939 located in Cepheus. Located some 3,800+ light years away and an older cluster estimated at over 1 billion years of age.

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.