Friday, 05 March 2021 15:24

NGC 3079 - A barred spiral located in Ursa Major. Higher resolution images show bubbles forming above and below the nucleus formed by intense star formation.

Friday, 05 March 2021 13:54

A small compact open cluster. Consisting of 37 likely members, within a radius of 4 light years. Estimated age is around 10 million years making it a young cluster. 

Friday, 05 March 2021 12:52

A quasar or quasi-stellar object is an active galactic nucleus that appears star like in appearance because of the extreme distance. In 3C 249.1 case, the light from there took 3.9 billion years to reach us from our point of view.

Tuesday, 09 February 2021 16:21

Emission nebula NGC 1491, sometimes called the Fossil Footprint Nebula located in Perseus. Located about 10,700 light years away. Illuminated by a 11.2 magnitude star actually blowing a bubble in the nebula from its intense stellar "wind".

Thursday, 04 February 2021 15:46

NGC 253, aka Sculptor Galaxy, aka Silver Dollar Galaxy.One of the brightest galaxies visible, but a bit low in the sky for Northern observers. About 11 million light years away and a diameter of 90,000 light years. Also one of the dustiest and is undergoing intense star formation.

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.