Thursday, 26 November 2020 14:10

Compact isolated face on spiral galaxy located in Cassiopeia. The galaxy is undergoing a burst of star formation in an inner ring but it does not extend out to the outer parts of the galaxy. It is thought to have been caused by a recent merger with a smaller galaxy.

Friday, 13 November 2020 16:35

EZ Aqr is a triple red dwarf system 11 light years away. Star "C" of the triplet orbits every 3.8 days, the other one "B" has a 823 day period.
All three of the stars have an estimated mass of a tenth of our Sun. No planetary companions have been found as of yet.

Image from 2005 showing its proper motion through the sky.

Thursday, 12 November 2020 17:17

NGC 129 an open cluster in Cassiopeia. Contains several giant stars including the Cepheid variable star DL Cas which can used to measure its distance of around 5,300 light years.  Contains 35 - 80 members and estimated age of 77 million years old.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020 12:40

NGC 7217 a gas poor spiral galaxy located in Pegasus 50 million light years away. Three ring like structures where most of the star formations is occurring. Possibly a result of a past galaxy merger as some stars are moving in opposite directions.

Friday, 06 November 2020 16:53

The Double Cluster consists of two open clusters, NGC869 and NGC884 located in Perseus. Estimated age is 12.8 million years.
Although visible to the naked eye, they need optical aid to show the two individual clusters and to see them in all their glory.

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.