Friday, 18 September 2020 14:11

Messier 2, a globular cluster located in Aquarius. One of the largest size wise globular clusters know at 175 light years across. Home to over 150,000 stars. Its age is estimated at 13 billion years, making it one of the older globular clusters.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020 14:30

NGC 7243 is an 6th magnitude open cluster located in Lacerta. The cluster contains around 40 members in a large and sparse cluster. It's estimated age is around 100 million years.

Thursday, 03 September 2020 12:31

Wide-field mosaic of Messier 8 The Lagoon Nebula and Messier 20 The Trifid Nebula. Messier 8 is an emission nebula HII region in Sagittarius. Several collapsing clouds know as Bok globules are visible which may eventually collapse down to form new stars. Messier 20 is highlighted by three different types of nebula. The red parts are an emission nebula, the blue parts are a reflection nebula, and the dark bands are dark nebula which are clouds of dust and gas blocking light from behind.

Wednesday, 02 September 2020 12:38

NGC 891 galaxy is located in Andromeda. Similar in size and shape to our galaxy, it's what ours would look like viewed edge on. Fingers of dust and gas are seen extending above and below the galaxies disk, possibly cause by past supernovas expelling gas and dust.

Friday, 28 August 2020 18:42

Barnard 143 is a dark nebula consisting of gas and dust that blocks the background stars of our galaxy. Located in Aquila with as estimated distance of 2,000 light years. 

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.