Jul 042021
 

I put a QHY268M CMOS camera into the Observatory to replace the significantly larger pixel sized Apogee U8300 that has been hanging around since the very early days and is starting to hiccup. These were all test images with 3 minute exposures from my fairly light polluted suburban back yard observatory. (SQM is 20.0 to 20.4 depending on season and quality of the night.) Most images are 2-3 hours total exposure in LRGB. Some images were a total loss due to filter wheel problems and filter shift causing incompatible flat frame corrections. Corrective actions have been taken to secure the filters and ensure proper indexing. As it is, none of these images are great but I can’t bring myself to throw them out so think of this as a first light post of sorts for the QHY268M.

M95

A barred spiral galaxy approximately 33 million light years away.

M95
M95 – Annotated

M108

M108 is a barred spiral in Ursa Major and contains about 125 billion solar masses.

M108
M108 – Annotated

M13

M13 is a globular cluster of several hundred thousand stars in the constellation Hercules.

M13
M13 Annotated

M106

M106 is an intermediate spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici with a detected supermassive black hole at it’s core. It resides approximately 22-25 million light years away. It’s one of the largest and brightest nearby galaxies.

M106
M106 – Annotated

The Leo Triplet

The Leo Triplet, also known as the M66 group, contains M65, M66, and NGC 3628 commonly called the Hamburger Galaxy. The galaxy group resides approximately 35 million light years away.

The Leo Triplet
The Leo Triplet – Annotated
Feb 142021
 
IC 1795 – A star forming region in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia. Hubble Pallet Emission line imaging from Clinton, TN. Poor seeing conditions over several nights in Nov 2020 but almost 33 hours of total exposure time. AP130GTX with Apogee U8300 camera riding on AP1200GTO in backyard observatory.

Nov 082020
 
View of the barn and new stage under construction from the ridge where we typically setup for astronomy.
Looking SW’ish where most of the informal star party group was setup.
Looking NE on the ridge
Sh2-155 The Cave Nebula
SVQ-100 with ASI533MC OSC CMOS on Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount
IC 342
SVQ-100 with ASI533MC OSC CMOS on Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount
Galaxy NGC 891
SVQ-100 with ASI533MC OSC CMOS on Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount
Sh2-136
SVQ-100 with ASI533MC OSC CMOS on Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount
Sh2-150
FSQ-106ED with SX-46 Mono CCD on AP900GTO

Nov 062020
 

This trip to Cherry Springs State Park promised an amazing clear stretch but was marred by dense smoke obscuring much of the sky from the wildfires raging in CA and other parts of the US.

The sun looked like a planet hanging in an overcast sky due to all the smoke.
If there had been any sun spots they may have been naked eye visible without a sun filter!
The sky was clear yet the blue wasn’t quite able to break through the hazy smoke.
Frank in the Astro Tent
This is what dealing with the public usually looks like 🙂
LDN 1235 – The Dark Shark
FSQ-106ED with SX-46 CCD on AP900GTO Mount
Only salvaged image during the few smoke free nights
Cherry Springs Time Lapse

Nov 052020
 
Two rigs imaging with the MW rising.
Cherry Springs Sunset
Jupiter & Saturn Rising with the Milky Way
Mosaic of Cygnus with Canon 6D and Rokinon 85mm
Cluster NGC 6604 and surrounding nebulosity. This is an often overlooked region just above the famous Eagle Nebula M16 which is just peaking in on the left.
Apr 042020
 

We’ve had far too many rainy days followed by isolation and the closure of astronomy parks and related facilities. Even if it cleared, we have nowhere to go. So here’s a quick reminder of the winter nebula that are leaving now not to be seen until next year. I wish I had time to do a mosaic and capture the whole nebula but I didn’t. It truly is a LARGE nebula. This image is 2.4 degrees across and could hold more than 18 full moons. (The moon varies between about 29′20″ – 34′6″ in size)

NGC 1499
AP130GTX, Apogee U16M, 14x20min HA
Clinton, TN
Dec 012019
 

IC 1805 / Sharpless 190, more commonly known as the Heart Nebula, lies approximately 7,500 light years from Earth. This data set was comprised of 43x20min Ha, 23x20min O[III], and 24x20min S[II] for a total exposure time of 30 hours over several nights in November 2019.

Melotte 15 – The open star cluster that lies at the center of IC 1805 and provides the radiation that gives the nebula it’s soft glow.
NGC 896 – The brightest part of the Heart Nebula; it was cataloged separately because it was the first part of the Heart Nebula to be discovered.
The Heart Nebula – This image spans almost 2.6 degrees x 2.6 degrees. For scale, it would take 27 full moons to fill this field of view.