"If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe."

— Carl Sagan

Astrophotography

The dark side of photography. Deep space and planetary imaging. Occasionally some day light pictures of the Sun.

NGC6781

NGC6781

Taken 9-14-10 thru 111mm Astrotech combined 37 x 2 min exposures totaling 74 minutes.  Located in  Aquila this planetary nebula was 2 ly across but continues to expand.  The central star is a blue white dwarf but is not visible here, may need to mag image.

This was also a guided image using Starlight Xpress CCD and SX guider.

Color combined

Color combined

same as prior description except combined color, however interesting.  519R, 300B, 500G makes for the unusual color.  No luminence.  This image reduced yellow.

First Light

First Light

This is my first attempt using my newly purchased CGEM and Astro Tech 111EDT telescope, TeleVue 5x lens, Starlight Xpress CCD.  It is over 1300  combined images totaling just over 49 seconds exposure at 0.1 sec each.    Will post color image also.

Rising Moon

Rising Moon

The Moon was rising in the East and the color was yellow-orange-red as it appeared thru the Earths atmosphere.  I took very short iamges, 30  0.001 sec exposures each R,G,B and 30 0.001 sec clear, and 30 0.003 Ha filter combined.  Strange.  Orion 80ED on CGEM mount.

Joe, nice color combined image of M27.   Let's see, what is the going rate for imaging at darker sites?  Hmmmm.

Dumbbell nebula overhead

Dumbbell nebula overhead

Whiting NJ is not exactly New Mexico, but the skies are certainly darker than Montclair and it shows. This is a 5 minute shot of the dumbell with a one hour luminance in h alpha.

Filters and CCD camera allow us to image from our light polluted skies, but nothing can substitute for a darker sky. What a shame we are losing our night skies.

Jupiter

Jupiter

Jupiter at 1:00 am this morning. Now that the southern equatorial belt is missing, the red spot really stands out.

Imaged through 5" refractor @ f-14 rgb filters.

NGC5965, with NGC 5963, 5971

NGC5965, with NGC 5963, 5971

Using a small scope for imaging is great for wide field imaging, but if your looking to image galaxies, you need to check its' size first.  Otherwise you end up with an image like this one where three or more galaxies are present, and tiny, and dim.  The galaxy in the lower center is edge-on NGC5965, and just to the left nearby is the blurry star-like galaxy NGC5963, with NGC5961 just above and to the left of center...also dim and "glowing".  This is a combined 10 x 8 min guided exposure image.

NGC6166 neighborhood

NGC6166 neighborhood

Noted in this photo from last nigh are the galaxies I could identify. View the picture full resolution by clicking on "ORIGINAL" below. There are more you should be able to find, which I have not circled. This wall of galaxies in next to the Keystone of Hercules. (All numbers are from the PGC catalog unless otherwise identified.)

Galaxies galore

Galaxies galore

It was clear last night. Overhead was Hercules. I was going to image M13.  Nearby the atlas showed NGC6166. I wanted to know what it looked like, so I took a 60 second exposure. I then went for an hour (5min x 12) I realized there were more galaxies in this photo. So I took the task to identify as many as I reasonably could. The results are in the next post: NGC6166 neighborhood.

m101

m101

First time imaging since the spring. Took out scope and camera to see if I still remembered how to use them. Above is galaxy M101 last night  at 11PM, up high in the North West these early july  nights. The scope a 5" refractor, image time 5 minutes exposures for a total of one and one half hour.