Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World.

— Inscription on Columbus' caravels

galaxy

Sunflower galaxy

Sunflower galaxy

Had some clear sky overhead last night. Took a one hour exposure of the Sunflower Galaxy (M63) in Canes Venatici, sixty one minute combined exposures through the TOA 130.

M81 first light

 M81  first light

This is a one hour image composite, 60 x 1 min exposures thru the new Astro-Tech 6" Ritchey Chretien telescope mounted on the Vixen GPD.  I expected more but when you go from 3" ED scope to a 6" RC detail needs longer exposures.  However I did an automatic processing in AIP for Windows and then experimented with additional processing manually.  I will need to get 3-5 hours exposure or more to get more detail.  And experiment with AIP. And I used a diagonal which is a boo boo !

Sombrero II

Sombrero II

Enhanced in Registax, looks more like other internet images.  Cropped image.

M104_Sombrero Galaxy

M104_Sombrero Galaxy

Joe Marzullo, Matthew McCuen and myself took a trip 20 minutes south of Whiting to Coyle Field in Woodland, NJ. The location is used for the US Army paratroopers training, looks like a very large field as in airport! To the south the trees are miles away making the horizon look treeless, no buildings, nothing to obstruct your view. The location is flat, and sandy, also used by model airplane flying. To the east and North there are normal trees but did not interfere with alignment. The clouds came in during the afternoon, and slowly hung around until late evening.

Blackeye Galaxy

Blackeye Galaxy

This is a 20 minute exposure of the Black Eye Galaxy, aka M64 Coma Berenices 8.5 magnitude, taken thru Orion 80ED.  Will attempt a two hour exposure next time out.  This particular night was extremely clear, dark skies here in Whiting.

M104

M104

The Pinwheel

The Pinwheel

This little gem is straight overhead this early december evenings.
Just got my guider so I had to try it. The results are encouraging.

M31

M31

M51 on a clear night

M51 on a clear night

Another night of perfect skies, just before the muggy weather comes in this weekend.  Tuesday evening I took M51 combined one hour exposure.  Orion 80ed on Vixen mount.  There is another galaxy lower left hand corner, 14 mag I.C.4263, highlighted in dim circle.

Next Time

 Next Time

Thursday evening was extremely clear, 10 our of 10, and I always take advantage of a clear night.  Having chosen the object to image I proceeded to take a one hour image of M63 (NGC5055) magnitude 8.5 .  And as usual another galaxie PGC45992 (Principal Galaxies Catalogue) an 14.8 magnitude galaxy located in the image lower right.