Friday, 26 April 2019 15:57

Open Cluster NGC 2423

Open Cluster NGC2423 located in Puppis located about 2,500 light years away. At least one exo-planet has been confirmed orbiting a the red giant star NGC2423-3 with a mass of 10 times of Jupiter. 

Published in Open Clusters
Friday, 05 April 2019 14:55

NGC 2539

NGC 2539, an open cluster in Puppis. Estimated age of the cluster is 370 million years and contains several hundred possible members. The cluster lies about 4,400 light years away, the brighter star is 19 Puppis a multiple star system with six reported components The primary being a 4.7 magnitude yellow giant, and is a foreground star at 177 light years. 

Published in Open Clusters
Monday, 01 April 2019 22:44

NGC 2301

NGC 2301, an open cluster located in Monoceros awash in a sea of stars. Estimated age of 168 million years and 2,840 light years away.

Published in Open Clusters
Saturday, 30 March 2019 10:14

Messier 67

Messier 67 is an open cluster located in the constellation of Cancer. It is one of the older closest open clusters at an estimated age of 3.2 to 5 billion years. Most clusters tend to disperse after their formation, but M67 is expected to stay together for another 5 billion years. It contains at least 500 members and has undergone mass segregation where the more massive stars have migrated towards the center of the cluster.

Published in Open Clusters
Saturday, 30 March 2019 10:00

Messier 44

Messier 44, or the Bee Hive Cluster, or originally Praesepe (the manger) is near by open cluster at a distance of 577 light years away. The cluster contains some 350 members. Visible to the naked eye, it has been known since ancient times as a "cloudy" star. Interesting its proper motion and age compares to the Hyades cluster suggesting a possible common origin millions of years ago.

Published in Open Clusters
Thursday, 14 February 2019 14:25

NGC 1502

NGC 1502 is an open cluster located in the constellation of Camelopardalis. It is near one end of a string of unrelated stars that seem to flow towards it that is called Kemble's Cascade. The cluster consists of around 45 stars and estimated distance of 2,700 light years away and is estimated to be a young cluster of around 11 million years old. The bright double star Struve 485 located near the center.

Published in Open Clusters
Wednesday, 16 January 2019 16:43

Orion Nebula and Surrounding Area

The Orion Nebula or M42 is one of the brightest nebulae in the sky, visible as a "fuzzy" star in Orion's sword hanging from the belt. The Trapezium cluster named for the four brightest OB stars form a trapezoid figure ionizes and illuminates the nebula. The nebula contains hundreds of young stars and more than 700 stars associated with the cluster.

Published in Nebulas
Wednesday, 19 December 2018 14:19

NGC 869 and NGC 884, The Double Cluster

Located in the constellation of Perseus are the two open clusters of NGC 869 and NGC 884. Both are at a distance of around 7,500 light years away. Both are a relative young age of 13 million years. The clusters are separated by a few hundred light years. Each cluster consists 300 to 400 stars with NGC 869 being slightly brighter and more compact.

Published in Open Clusters
Thursday, 13 December 2018 12:12

M45, Color camera version

A clear evening presented a chance to try out a recently acquired one shot color camera. The distinctive and well placed and one of my personal favorite objects,  M45 was selected. The camera used was the ZWO ASI071MC Pro. A 16 megapixel camera with a 4944x3284 pixel array with a relative large pixel size of 4.78, it gives a large field of view with the ED80cft scope. A OSC camera is similar to a dlsr camera, and this sensor is used in some Nikon cameras. A bayer matrix is placed over the sensor, which are tiny color filters, so that each 2x2 cell has 1 red, 2 green and 1 blue pixel from which the color image is created. With my standard monochrome cameras, an external filter is placed in front of the camera and exposures are made through each of the different colored filters. A mono camera tends to be more efficient as all the pixels are recording the same color vs 1 or two with an OSC camera. In addition the mono camera is more flexible in that using filters that pass a narrow band of light that can be used to create what is referred to as narrow band images that highlight certain prominent spectrum, such as the hydrogen alpha emission from ionized hydrogen that is often visible in nebula. What the OSC camera does offer is convenience, the ability to acquire all the colors in one image. Especially useful for faster changing objects where successive images through different filters would show movement or smearing.

This image was taken over two evenings using 120 second exposures.

Published in Open Clusters
Wednesday, 05 December 2018 23:35

The Bubble and the Open Cluster

he Bubble Nebula or NGC 7635 is an hydrogen emission nebula with a bubble structure that is formed by stellar wind from a massive central star. Also in the field of view is the open cluster of Messier 52. M52 is at a distance of 4,600 light years and the Bubble Nebula is a more distant 7,000 to 11,000 light years away.

Published in Nebulas
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