Discovered Nov 25, 2020, this time-lapse of Nova Per 2020 covering the period of Dec 8 - Mar 18. Images were taken about every two weeks weather permitting. Started with a brightness of mag 9, fading to mag 15.
So named because of its changing light and dark patterns on the nebula is though to be caused by dust clouds near the illuminating source by the star R Monocerotis casting shadows on the nebula. The star itself a T Tauri variable, is encased dense clouds of dust.
The patterns are know to change over weeks and months. Discovered by William Herschel and studied by Edin Hubble.
Messier 94 or sometimes referred to as the Cat's Eye or the Croc's Eye galaxy it is a spiral galaxy with distinct inner and outer rings. Several theory's on how it came about, but no definite answer. The inner ring is around 50,000 light years in diameter with the outer ring extending adding another 30,000 light years to the diameter.The galaxy contains some 40 billion stars. Located in Canes Venatici and is around 16 million light years away. It is the primary member of the M94 galaxy group that contains 16 to 24 galaxies.
Discovered by Pierre Mechain on March 2, 1781.
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.
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.