Abell 2151 - Hercules Galaxy cluster. Over 200+ distant galaxies in this image. Galaxies are located 450-500 million light years away. Part of the larger Hercules super cluster.
Annotated image follows..
55% full Moon imaged on Aug 8, 2019 with the RC scope and Asi071 color camera. Single shot with image processing done using PixInsight software.
Open cluster located in the constellation of Cepheus. Estimated age of 6+ billion years, most open clusters drift apart after only a few million years. It lies above the plane of the Milky Way, and located further out than our Sun which may account for its longevity.
NGC 4490, commonly called the Cocoon Galaxy is a disrupted barred spiral galaxy located in the constellation of Canes Venatici. A smaller companion galaxy NGC 4485 has interacted with it in the past, creating a distorted galaxy and helping to produce rapid star formation.
Barnard's Star is a red dwarf star located 6 light years away in the constellation of Ophiuchus. Despite being relatively close, it is unable to be seen with out a telescope due to its dim nature. Being close by, and due to its motion, it displays the highest proper motion across the sky of any discovered star. That is, it appears to move across the sky faster than any other star.
I attempt to image it every year to show its motion across the sky.
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.