Messier 15, one of the oldest globular clusters around our galaxy, estimated age of 12+ billion years, and a densely compacted core due to core collapse. M15 contains an estimated 100,000 stars. Imaged during first quarter Moon.
Star Clouds of Andromeda featuring NGC 206 in the center, which is an OB association of hot O and B type stars numbering over 300 and stretching some 4,000 light years.
M57 also called the Ring Nebula is a planetary nebula (planetary nebula have nothing to do with planets). They are formed when a star near the end of its evolutionary life expels its outer layers as it shrinks down to the white dwarf stage. The planetary nebula name comes from the early days when nebula such as this looked like planetary disks to the early observers.
Epsilon Lyrae is a a true binary star system with an orbit that is measured in hundred of thousands of years to complete an orbit. In addition, each star is also a binary star that can only be split using higher powers. For this reason, it is often called the Double Double star. In addition an even closer in star has been detected around one of the stars.
NGC6940 is an open cluster located in Vulpecula. Some what difficult to see the cluster against the rich background of stars, the actual cluster contains several hundred members. Estimated age is 700+ million years and at distance of 2,500 light years.
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.