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Found 112 results

  1. The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in the constellation Fornax edit: new version with new long exposure data ( 52 x 240sec ) and better dark subtraction / dithering to remove streaks in the noise and amp glow. This also allowed for a greater stretch revealing more faint data in the galaxy and small faint fuzzies in the image .. The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in Fornax ( please click / tap to see larger ) and below I have added a 100% crop of new version: ........ original image: NGC 1365 ( please click / tap on image to see larger ) ............... The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in the Constellation Fornax Below the equator, not seen from much of the Northern hemisphere, NGC 1365 passes very nearly directly overhead an observer situated near Cape Town, as Sir John Herschel was in November of 1837, or near Sydney, as I was, almost exactly 180 years later, when I photographed this “remarkable nebula” that is numbered 2552 in his book of observations from the Cape. Not called a “nebula” now, of course, this striking object is one of the nearest and most studied examples of a barred spiral ( SB ) galaxy that also has an active galactic nuclei resulting in its designation as a Seyfert galaxy. At around 60 M light years from Earth, NGC 1365 is still seen to occupy a relatively large area ( 12 by 6 arc minutes ) due to its great size; at some 200,000 light years or so across, NGC 1365 is nearly twice as wide as the Milky Way and considerably wider than both the Sculptor and Andromeda galaxies. This High Dynamic Range ( HDR ) image is built up from multiple exposures ranging from 4 to 120 seconds with the aim of capturing the faint detail in the spiral arms of the galaxy whilst also retaining colour in the brightest star ( the orange-red 7th magnitude giant, HD 22425 ). Also, scattered throughout the image, and somewhat more difficult to see, are numerous and far more distant galaxies with apparent magnitudes of 16 to 18 or greater. Mike O'Day ................. Identification: The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy New General Catalogue - NGC 1365 General Catalogue - GC 731 John Herschel ( Cape of Good Hope ) # 2552 - Nov 28, 29 1837 Principal Galaxy Catlogue - PCG 13179 ESO 358-17 IRAS 03317-3618 RA (2000.0) 3h 33m 37.2 s DEC (2000.0) -36 deg 8' 36.5" 10th magnitude Seyfert-type galaxy in the Fornaux cluster of galaxies 200 Kly diameter 60 Mly distance .................. Capture Details: Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1400mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D7500 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.7mm, 5568x3712 @ 4.196um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 22 Nov 2017 ) 6 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 4s to 120s ) all at ISO400. 70 x 120s + 5 each @ 4s to 60s total around 2.5hrs Processing ( Pixinsight ) Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks Integration in 6 sets HDR combination Image - Plate Solution ========================================== Resolution ........ 1.328 arcsec/px Rotation .......... -0.008 deg ( North is up ) Field of view ..... 58' 8.6" x 38' 47.5" Image center ...... RA: 03 33 41.182 Dec: -36 07 46.71 ==========================================
  2. A new High Dynamic Range image of the Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) captured over a number of nights in mid-September 2017 and processed with PixInsight using the DrizzleIntegration and PhotometricColorCalibration tools. The Silver Coin or Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) in the Sculptor constellation. ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) On the 23rd of September 1783, sitting before her telescope in the field behind the house she shared with her brother William at Datchet, near Slough in the south of England, Miss Caroline Herschel "swept" the sky searching for new comets and never before seen star clusters and nebulae. On this occasion, way down in the sky, not far above the Southern horizon, in an area of the southern sky that Nicolas de Lacaille had called the “Apparatus Sculptoris” or “the sculptor’s studio", Miss Herschel saw and noted down a very bright and large nebula where one had never before been recorded. This event was later recognised by her brother, Sir William Herschel, as the discovery, by Caroline Herschel, of the nebula he listed in his catalogue as H V.1. In later years, her 'beloved nephew', Sir John Herschel, William's son, would record this 'nebula' as entry # 138 in his General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars ( eventually becoming the 253th entry in the New General Catalogue, NGC 253 ). Whilst relatively close to us compared to the billions of far more distant galaxies in the Universe, the great size of the “Sculptor Galaxy” and the huge distances involved are still hard to comprehend. To put this into some perspective, the light that is just now reaching one edge of the great disc left the opposite edge when the Earth was in the grip of last great Ice Age 70,000 years ago and the light we now see has been travelling towards us for over 11 million years. ........ More information on the discovery of the Sculptor Galaxy by Miss Caroline Herschel, as well as the later observations by both Sir William and Sir John Herschel, can be found in my Stargazerslounge blog, “The Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 )” ......... This image was captured over a number of nights in the middle of September 2017 and processed on the 23rd; exactly 234 years from the day of its discovery by Caroline Herschel. With over 18 hours of total exposure, this HDR image attempts to capture the huge range of brightness levels; from the brightest stars and the core of the galaxy through to the numerous 'tiny' galaxies scattered throughout the image ( the total magnitude range is from around mag 8.8, for the brightest star, to 22+ for the faintest stars and galaxies visible in the image). Mike O'Day ...................... Capture Details: Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ) Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera:Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ).. Capture ( 16, 17, 19,20,22 Sept. 2017 ) 8 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 2s to 240s ) all at ISO800 273 x 240s + 10 each @ 2s to 120s total around 18hrs Processing Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Drizzle Integration in 8 sets. HDR combination PhotometricColorCalibration Pixinsight & Photoshop 23 Sept. & 8 Oct 2017 Image Plate Solution ( this cropped image ) =============================================== Resolution ........ 1.324 arcsec/px Rotation .......... -180.00 deg ( South ^, East > ) Field of view ..... 57' 57.5" x 38' 40.1" Image center ...... RA: 00 47 32.809 Dec: -25 17 04.48 =============================================== .................... Designations and alternative names for the Sculptor Galaxy: CH10 ( Caroline Herschel # 10 ) H V.1 ( William Herschel, Class V ( very large Nebulae ) # 1 ) H 61, H 2345 ( John Herschel observations identifiers ) GC 138. ( John Herschel’s - A General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars # 138 ) NGC 253 ( John Herschel’s catalogue updated by Dreyer - The New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars # 253 ) Caldwell 65 Leda 2789 ESO 479-29 Sculptor GalaxySilver Coin GalaxySilver Dollar Galaxy .................. Annotated image of the Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) - showing the brighter stars ( from the Tycho-2 catalogue ) as well the galaxies recorded in the Principal Galaxies Catalogue ( PGC ). I have yet to complete identifying and annotating the very large number of ‘tiny’ galaxies in the image. ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) .........
  3. ( please click/tap image to see larger ) Identification: The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy New General Catalogue - NGC 1365 General Catalogue - GC 731 John Herschel ( Cape of Good Hope ) # 2552 - Nov 28, 29 1837 Principal Galaxy Catlogue - PCG 13179 ESO 358-17 IRAS 03317-3618 RA (2000.0) 3h 33m 37.2 s DEC (2000.0) -36 deg 8' 36.5" 10th magnitude Seyfert-type galaxy in the Fornaux cluster of galaxies 200 Kly diameter 60 Mly distance .................. Capture Details: Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1400mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D7500 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.7mm, 5568x3712 @ 4.196um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 24 Dec 2017 ) 7 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 4s to 240s ) all at ISO400. 52 x 240s + 5 each @ 4s to 120s total around 2.5hrs Processing ( Pixinsight ) Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks Integration in 7 sets HDR combination Image - Plate Solution ========================================== Resolution ........ 1.328 arcsec/px Rotation .......... -0.008 deg ( North is up ) Field of view ..... 58' 8.6" x 38' 47.5" Image center ...... RA: 03 33 41.182 Dec: -36 07 46.71 ==========================================
  4. I finally got out for another night of viewing. My last night out was almost 2 weeks ago, and was plagued by technical difficulties, resulting in a rather disappointing night compared to expectations. Since then work prevented me from getting out, then just as I had an opportunity with clear skies I threw my back out and was laid up for 2 days. By the time I was on my feet again, the clouds had rolled in and I was left being a computer astronomer for several more days. Last night the skies cleared so I loaded up the truck and headed to my dark site, roughly 5 minutes from my house. Seeing conditions were excellent with clear, cold skies and dark site conditions. I was able to see a magnitude 6.0 star with my naked eye, and Andromeda was clearly visible without optics. I brought with me several new EPs and a new UHC filter. I also brought with my my girlfriend, complete with a sleeping bag to bundle her in so we could try to spot some meteors between messing around with the telescope and camera. We were set up and looking skyward by 20:15. I had only peered through my new EPs twice before, and they hadn't had a night to do them justice, so I decided to start with some old familiar objects to give me some reference. I looked at M13 and M31, then turned the scope up to M57. I was using my Explore Scientific 18mm 82* EP with a new 2" dielectric diagonal. This was an upgrade from the standard Celestron equipment that comes stock with the scope. To say the views were amazing would be an understatement. I was blown away. M13 especially stands out in my mind as a real surprise last night. It totally filled the EP, and the stars so numerous it dazzled me and boggled my mind all at once. M31 really stood out as well, totally filling the eyepiece. Truly amazing. Once I was content that the scope was cool and I had everything focused and tuned, I began searching the sky for a few new galaxies including M81 and M82. I had hoped to spy M101 for my first time, but it was a touch low on the horizon to make out well. I turned the scope to M33 instead and was treated to an incredible sight. It stood out strong in the dark sky, and I looked long and hard and could swear that I could just barely make out some spiral arms. Now it was time for the next test. I screwed the UHC filter onto the EP and went searching for nebulas, both familiar and new to me. I'll put a list below of object I saw, but some highlights were as follow: The Dumbbell Nebula was quite a site. I could clearly make out the shape (looks more like an apple core to me ). I then swung around to the Little Dumbbell, my first time viewing it. I was surprised how little it was, but could make it out very clearly. The Lagoon Nebula was nice, as was Omega Nebula. However, in the south sky the Eagle Nebula really stole my attention last night. I could make out a lot of nebulosity, and was pulled in and hypnotized by it. I had trouble leaving that object. I went on to view some diffuse nebulas that I had never seen, and had great luck finding them. There were a few misses, but I think I found 75% or so of all the new objects I looked for. It was a wonderful night. Before taking a break I decided to take a look up toward Uranus, and it appeared as a beautiful little light blue disk, the first time I had seen it as such. Neptune was more of just a tiny speck of light, but I found it as well. After a break for hot cocoa I switched the EP over to a 30MM 82* and jumped around the sky looking at familiar objects. I had intended to seek some new clusters and perhaps some double stars, but ended up getting totally caught up in just surfing around enjoying the views of what I knew. I looked at the Pleiades for a long time, as well as the Hyades. I spend quite a bit of time viewing Capella, Rigel, and Betelgeuse, and really enjoyed taking the time to make out the slight differences in magnitude and color. I then swung the scope over to Cygnus and just surfed around through the billions of stars making the highway through the sky that the swan looks to be following. It is still hard for me to believe the sheer number of stars out there. I grew up under dark skies and am no stranger to the Milky Way and being able to see millions of stars with the naked eye. However, when you turn that scope upward, you realize there are exponentially more all around, and it's humbling. We are so small, and what we are taking in is so vast. It seems impossible. I ended the night viewing the Great Orion Nebula. I didn't even bother putting the filter on, and through the 30MM EP it was absolutely stunning. I had never seen it quite like that, and I spend a very long time taking it in, my jaw on the ground. It was a really beautiful end to the evening. While I had been messing about with the scope, my girlfriend had a camera set up on a tripod, and managed to capture some wonderful Milky Way and Constellation pictures. When we finally put away all the toys, we both just laid back on the tarp and spend about 45 minutes watching for the Orionids. By the end of the night we saw a combined total of between 20 and 30 meteors, most of which were relatively dim. It was a nice bonus. In the end we were viewing for over 4 hours, and had an incredible successful night! List of object observed (items with asterisk were first lights for me!): Nebulas: M1*; M8; M16; M17; M27; M42; M43; M57; M76*; NGC1491*; NGC6543*; NGC6781*; NGC6804*; NGC7008* Galaxies and Clusters: M13; M31; M32; M81*; M82*; M110; Plants: Uranus; Neptune
  5. Last of my collection of data from the weekend clear skies. C11 with focal reducer (1760mm), ASI183mm Pro. Astrodon filters. Mesu 200. Pixinsight. M108 25 x 60s Lum 8 x 60s RG&B Thanks for looking Dave
  6. The one and only object photographed during my recent holiday to Poland in Zakopane. Still testing my new QHY168 Color camera and trying to learn MaximDL... Scope: Skywatcher EVOSTAR 80ED DS-Pro Mount: HEQ5Pro Camera: QHY168C Filter Optolong L-PRO MAX Luminosity Guiding camera: ZWO ASI120MM Guiding scope: Panagor 400mm 27x300s exposure at -10°C (135min total) binning 1x1 8xdarks 5xbias
  7. Hi everyone, I'm slowly adapting my knowledge of Astronomy and Astrophysics and have purchased a 'Sky-watcher Explorer Diameter=130mm Focal Length=900mm' (see image) . I would just like to know what kind of eyepiece to buy to get a good view of Mars because my current view with a 'Super 25mm' eyepiece is very disappointing . Thanks, ajc0502
  8. In the image below of Barnard's galaxy there are very pronounced areas of dark and light across the frame. Is anyone familiar with this area of the sky and if so, do you know if the effect is a true representation of this part of the sky or is more likely to be due to processing artifacts? I'm pretty sure that the areas of dark in the extreme corners are partly (mostly ?) due to imperfectly corrected vignetting but I'm less sure about the other dark areas in the image. Cheers Mike
  9. M64 taken over 2 night, in RGB, All filters were 12 x 6 mins. Using an Atik 314 mono, scope was a MN190. Thanks for looking.....
  10. ( click tap on image to see larger and sharper ) This image shows multiple bright nebula and star clusters in an area adjacent to the the Tarantula Nebula ( NGC 2070 ) in the nearby irregular galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ). The largest of these are the bright pink nebula in the upper right part of the image ( NGC 2014 ) and the blue nebula in the lower right ( NGC 2030 ). Details: Bright Nebulae: NGC 2014 ( upper right, pink) size 30 x 20 arcmin Mag +8. NGC 2020 size 2.0 arcmin NGC 2030 ( lower right, blue ). NGC 2032 . NGC 2035 size 3.0 x 3.0 arcmin NGC 2040 size 3.0 x 3.0 arcmin Open clusters: NGC 2002 size 2 arcmin Mag +10.1 NGC 2004 size 2.7 arcmin Mag +9.6 NGC 2006 size 1 arcmin Mag +11.5 NGC 2011 size 1 arcmin Mag +10.6 NGC 2021 size 0.9 arcmin Mag +12.1 NGC 2027 size 0.7 arcmin Mag +11.9 NGC 2034 NGC 2041 size 0.7 arcmin Mag +10.4 Image centre RA 05h 33m 25.583s, Dec -67° 18' 02.586" (nova.astrometry.net) Field of view (arcmin): 58.8 x 39.2 Scale (full size image) 0.585 arcsec/pixel Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ) Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410 mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Filter: none HDR combination of four sets of exposures: 9 x 300 sec ISO 200 4 x 120 sec ISO 200 4 x 120 sec ISO 100 4 x 60 sec ISO 100 Pixinsight & Photoshop 29 January 2017 link: 500px.com/MikeODay
  11. Seeing several excellent images of the 'Needle' posted recently by members prompted me to go back and have another go at processing one of my own efforts from a while back. I think this is a worthwhile improvement with more detail extracted in the dust lane. It's 6.4 hours luminance (1x1) and 3.2 hours RGB (2x2), taken with a SW MN190 and QSI583 with OAG. This is a crop of the central area. A wider field view can be seen here: http://universalconstant.com/NGC4565_AP_crop2.jpg
  12. This image is a continuation of an image I made in 2014 of the M81/82 galaxy group. I made the images and found signals of integrated flux nebula surrounding the galaxies. Soon after that I got in touch with Neil Fleming who had a splendid image of the IFN in this region on his website and a fellow astrophotographer, Michael Van Doorn, who had imaged the galaxies using his hyperstar setup. We decided to combine the data and create a deep field of this region. The lower magnitude visible is around mag. +24 in this image! Because of the long period of bad weather I decided to do some reprocessing on previously made images and decided to see if I could get even more out of this image. I think the result is astonishing. As far as I have found this is the deepest image of this region that I could find on the internet. The IFN really stands out very clearly and it's nice to see details like Arp's loop at M81 really jumping out to the image.... Image details are visible in the image. M81/82 Ultra deep field :) by Andre van der Hoeven, on Flickr
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