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  1. From the album: Deep Sky Imaging

    Omega Centauri (NGC 5139) is a globular cluster in the constellation Centaurus. Located at a distance of 15,800 light-years, it is the largest globular cluster in the Milky Way at a diameter of roughly 150 light-years. It is estimated to contain approximately 10 million stars, totalling the equivalent of 4 million solar masses. This photo was imaged using a Celestron C8 and a QHY268M at the native 2032mm focal length. This very bright object was exposed for only 78 minutes, 14x180sec subs through a UV & IR Cut filter and 12 x 60s subs through each of the red, green and blue filters.

    © Mariusz Goralski

  2. From the album: Deep Sky Imaging

    Omega Centauri (NGC 5139) is a globular cluster in the constellation of Centaurus. Located at a distance of 15,800 light-years, it is the largest globular cluster in the Milky Way at a diameter of roughly 150 light-years. It is estimated to contain approximately 10 million stars and a total mass equivalent to 4 million solar masses. This photo was imaged using a 8" SCT and a Canon 40D DSLR at 2032mm focal length. The total exposure was 97 minutes, 17x60sec, 12x 150s and 10x300sec subs at ISO800.
  3. Toxophilus

    Messier 71

    From the album: Deep Sky Objects

    Messier 71 is a globular cluster in the constellation Sagitta. The cluster is at a distance of around 12,000 light years away from Earth and is approximately 27 light years across. This is my first image using an Celestron Off-Axis Guider and it seems to have made a big difference to the overall result. Previously I could not have done 10 minute sub-frames without noticeable distortion of stars. If you want more detail the astrobin link is: http://www.astrobin.com/266668/B
  4. Toxophilus

    Messier 56

    From the album: Deep Sky Objects

    Messier 56 - A globular cluster in the constellation Lyra. Discovered by Charles Messier on January 19, 1779. It is at a distance of around 32,900 light-years from Earth and measures roughly 84 light-years in diameter, with a combined mass of approximately 230,000 times that of the Sun. The cluster has an estimated age of around 13.70 billion years. It is thought that this cluster may have been acquired during the merger of a dwarf galaxy, of which Omega Centauri forms the surviving nucleus. If you want more detail the astrobin link is: http://www.astrobin.com/266680/B
  5. From the album: Deep Sky Imaging

    While waiting for the Tarantula to get into imaging position to grab some Ha and OIII subs to add to the previous posted image, I decided to do a quick 47Tuc image. Unfortunately when centered, there was no guide star in the OAG at the current setup, and I did not want to alter the position of the OAG since it was still setup from a previous session to continue on NGC2070... so some unguided subs of the glob had to suffice... it's only 15 x 60sec, 15 x 30sec and 15 x 10sec subs in ISO800 at F10 using the modded Canon 40D. Seeing wasn't the best but surprisingly being unguided the stars were round, fat but round... I guess it's only 60 seconds at longest sub and PA was quite accurate.

    © Mariusz Goralski

  6. Toxophilus

    Messier 3

    From the album: Deep Sky Objects

    M3 - Globular Cluster My first attempt at a globular cluster. I had a feeling that this would be a tricky target and I was right. But not bad for a first go. Globular clusters, often referred to as Jewels in the Sky and it's easy to see why. These amazing clusters of stars are orbiting our galaxy and so are actually part of it. This one was discovered in 1764 and is estimated to contain 500,000 stars and around 8 billion years old. It is approximately 33,900 light-years away from Earth. If you want to know more the astrobin link is: http://www.astrobin.com/251536/
  7. From the album: HEQ5/SW 80ED

    Apparently this is the largest and brightest globular cluster and yes it is quite impressive. (30 subs 30 sec each ISO 1600 - Image reduced to 50% and cropped to 1080p)
  8. A little late in posting this one due to work and the arrival of a new/old ‘scope but wanted to record my first solo trip to a darker site and a memorable observing session. As dark fell last Thursday (May 6th) there was a deep clarity to the sky that convinced me to do something I'd been threatening to do since the end of lockdown, put the gear in the car and drive 15 minutes out of town to a local country park. Farley Mount is a favourite viewpoint around Winchester and I'd previously clocked its near 360 degree horizon and elevated position away from immediate lights. The dis-incentive to date had been a ten minute walk from the car park through deep and ancient Yew woodland to the observing site, but the sky conditions, largely moonless night, & a lighter day in the diary at work Friday convinced me to bite the bullet. I don't mind admitting I was bit nervous for no rational reason, I'm a big lad and despite any local superstition all I'm really likely to run into up there is the occasional poacher (I took the chance the cold would keep al fresco couples and any attendant, ahem, spectators indoors). Nevertheless I was glad of the relaxed Canadian astro-dude banter of the Objects to Observe in May edition of the Actual Astronomy podcast in the car on the way up there and as an extra precaution took my heavy and very bright night-watchman style Maglite torch/truncheon for reassurance. I was pleased to find the car park deserted, no steamy cars or worse still, blood-stained pickups with deer in the back in evidence. The sky was mesmerising however, good seeing and good to excellent transparency. By the time I'd walked in, selected a spot allowing use of a handy bench as observing table and gone through the familiar routine of set-up I’d got very happy with my isolated situation and ready to track down some more spring Messier objects. This site is about 10 miles from Southampton and with a clear line of sight down to the dockyards and the ships strung out along the Solent and on toward Portsmouth. Beautiful in its own right but casting a glow to South and South East up to about 50 degrees. Basingstoke glows dimly over the Northern horizon about 20 miles away but only seemed to be affecting a dome up to about 15 degrees. All other directions were dark to the horizon and no local lights at all. This is a big step up from the local park! The Milky Way was very plainly visible along with M13 and 10+ stars in Ursa Minor. I used a Mak 127 on an AZ GTi, Baader Hyperion 24mm giving 63x magnification, a Neodymium filter and occasionally switched in a Baader Zoom 8-24mm to up the power. Aligned Vega & Arcturus then slewed to Vindemiatrix as a start point for some of the galaxies I haven't yet spotted in Virgo & Comma B. Took a quick look at M86 & M84 region first to gauge conditions against my last session in that area of sky and it was immediately clear the darker site and clear sky made a huge difference. The galaxies sprung out in 9x50 finder and I could see more of the nebulous regions surrounding the core. Took a quick sweep NE along Markarian's chain from there and it was dotted with 7 or 8 fuzzy patches in the same field, amazing. By this time I was getting dark adapted and relaxing into the new environment, so turned to new targets.I orientated myself through the finder in a triangle between Vindemiatrix, Porrima and Omicron Virginis and started hunting for a fuzzy patch between a diagonal pair just off centre right (in RACI view) of that region… M49 – Spent quite a while hunting this one before realising I’d aligned on the wrong fuzzy patch between a diagonal pair & had to resort to Stellarium on the iPad to find an optical triple in the bottom right of field which confirmed I was in fact looking at NGC4526/NGC4560 – “The Lost Galaxy” apparently now found. A quick sweep up and West found a wider spaced pair and there was a faint fuzzy cloud with a slightly brighter centre, surprisingly dim though. Not a lot of features so moved on but M49 located. M85 - found to R of 11 Coma Berenices, verified by the presence of dim star on lower R edge. Not much detail but nice to find. M100 – moved to 6 Coma Berenices as a reference then up and W to place a pair bottom L and look for M100 top right, eventually perceived as much as saw this – to my eye was only visible in averted vision – some sense of circular shape, apparent but really dim, brought home the vast distance (55 Million light years). M99 – back to 6 C.B. and put it in the top L of the field and a little down to the right, along the base of a low triangle of dim stars was M99 – a highlight of the night, whilst very faint showing some spiral structure- took a long look at this one. M98 – back the other side of 6 C.B an oblique egde on clearly visible as a “stripe” – reminded me of a dim M82. M61 – Looking half way along the line between Porrima and Omicron Virginis this one took me ages to find. I kept going to the spot where I thought should be and panning around not finding much. Tried a GoTo and that landed me in the dark. Eventually used Stellarium live on the iPad to confirm I had 16 Virginis and a line of 3 stars above in the field then moved up & found M61 between its 2 bridging stars. Another one very faint, and with averted vision some cloudy spiral form was visible. That all took a while and I was a bit cold so I decided to just hit GoTo on some targets of opportunity and see what I could find. Transparency up at the Zenith and over into Lyra and Cygnus was by this time superb. I had a bit of globular-fest alighting on: M13 which looked superb with many stars resolved and not for the first time a hint of dark lanes. M92 – smaller area than M13 and dimmer with less resolution but still lovely and a new “M” for me. M3 – Jumping around a bit but this is the first globular I found in binoculars and I wanted to compare. M5 – Tighter than M13 but I think slightly more spectacular, may be my favourite so far. M10 & M12 in Ophiuchus – easily popping into view in the finder. Have to confess I’d stopped really making notes by this stage. After all that galaxy hunting at the limits of both scope (and more to the point observer), the GoTo was behaving and the globulars look like celestial fireworks and are so easy to spot – great fun! Couldn’t resist a look over at M57 and things were so crisp and transparent over there I tried for M27 also and there it was, bigger than M57 and with a discernible double sphere shape. I rounded off with a super view of M81/82 with a sense of shape in M81 and of dark band across M82. Also notable was that where the other galaxies I’d viewed that night were grey mists of varying density – these appeared both brighter and golden in colour. Really amazing view. Just one more… (it was gone 2.30 am by this time and getting a bit blowy which wasn’t helping tripod stability or my core temperature!) M51 – great view with twin cores, a discernible spiral and a lane of connecting stars between the two centres. Amazing way to finish. An unashamed Messier-ticking session then but some unforgettable views and firsts, I am already plotting my next darker sky run, now, how far do I have to go to lose the glow from all those dockyards…?
  9. I've been puzzling over the bits of Virgo that are filled with galaxies on and off for the last three months & always seem to get lost and confused among barely-visible smudges in the eyepiece of my 127 Mak. Whilst not the ideal galaxy hunting tool, I have really enjoyed views of M81 & M82 and the Leo Trio so figured I ought to at least be able to identify the whereabouts of some of the Virgo cluster even if there's no real features or structure to be even dimly seen with this aperture. To date I'd positively identified M86 & M84 and noted a couple of NGCs in the same field and other smudges within a couple of panning fields distant - but beyond that it was all "might be" in terms of identification. There is I admit a part of me that is motivated to "tick off" Messier objects but I want to be positive on my identification, so with this in mind I hatched a plan to tour the area in a more structured way, inspired by this great thread on the topic from @MercianDabbler https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/375174-easter-2021-attempting-galaxies-with-an-sp102/?tab=comments#comment-4074628. Recon sessions with the ST80 while the moon has been dominant over the last couple of weeks had led me to a chain of mini asterisms that I reckon I could follow from Vindemiatrix as a pathway to identify specific galaxies - even though they would be little more than un-resolvable fuzzy stars in my 'scope. I went as far as running through my star hopping "moves" a couple of times in Stellarium during the afternoon and making step by step instructions in my notebook (I find paper & a red headtorch easier in the field than trying to manipulate an App under a redlight). Saturday's forecast wasn't perfect for this purpose but looking ahead, looked like the only usable night for a while so I spent a happy few-bank holiday hours in the afternoon packing gear, charging batteries and prepping. All observations with a Skywatcher Mak 127, Baader Hyperion 24mm (68 degree AFOV delivering a shade over 1 degree TFOV), Baader Neodymium Filter added for good luck! Saturday May 1st /Sunday May 2nd was clear over Bortle-5 Winchester and seeing was very steady, transparency was fair and at times poor with high cloud building gradually to the SW by midnight when I set out. There were a couple of hours before the moon became a factor so I got to work aligning (Vega, Arcuturus) and slewing to Vindemiatrix. Tracked a couple of fields of view (1 degree field) SSW to a faint "crown" of stars [Stellarium says HD111132 is at the head of the curve] which I've been calling mini-Corona and from there on W to a 4 star asterism with Rho Virginis at its centre which I've been calling the "plane" as it looks like a clear delta-wing shape (like an old dinky toy Dassault Mirage I had as a kid!) M59/M60 - Put the "nose" of the plane in the centre-bottom of the field and pan up half a degree and there was M59 & M60, the first a dim fuzzy point, better in averted vision, the second notably brighter and with haze around a central point, could stand direct vision. Putting the nose of the "plane" this time in the right hand side of the finder (RACI view on the Mak) and tracking a full field West brings the first of two pairs of stars in a just about horizontal line [Stellarium says these are HD109815, HD109684, HD109486, HD109401]. M58 - Putting the first pair of "the line" in the bottom R of the finder and tracking up 1/2 a field brought me a fuzzy patch with a star bottom R [later confirmed star as HD109771] M89 - Putting the second pair of "the line" in the bottom R of the finder and tracking up just over a field, passing a small triangle of stars, brings in M89 - a fuzzy star, not much else to note. M90 - Putting M89 in the bottom centre of the field brings in M90 in the top of the view, dim fuzzy but a bit more of a vertical line than a point this time. Makes a nice field with M89. M87 - Placed M89 top R in field and swing W. M87 - not as bright as expected, nebulous patch, no detail to speak of. M86 - Placed M87 in far R of field and tracked W I full field (1 degree) - quite apparent fuzz with brighter core - easier to see than M87 which is odd. M84 - Placed M87 in far R of field and tracked W I full field (1 degree) - faint, best with averted vision when focussed on M86. I then tracked one field of view NE of the M84/M86 view and this gives a really humbling view full of tiny fuzzy patches. I made a rough sketch of a pronounced Scalene Triangle of resolvable stars [based on Stellarium I think these are three 10th Mag stars just into Coma Berenices, TYC 880-659-1, TYC 880 567-1, TYC 880 505-1, whatever that means...] with an elongated "M" shape of fuzzy blobs interweaving. I am not 100% sure which I was seeing but reckon given the slightly off transparency conditions I wasn't able to see as deep as the scope's limiting magnitude of 13.1 so am fairly sure I was looking at "The Eyes" - NGC 4435 & 4438 and then probably NGC 4459, NGC 4461, NGC 4473 & NGC 4477. M56 - I was getting spots before the eyes by this time and noted that transparency was better behind me to the NE, I took a quick look straight down from Lyra & found M56, a fairly diffuse & dim globular that I am not at all sure I would have spotted had I not just spent a couple of hours tracking down the faintest of fuzz-patches! Finally looking around I noticed Serpens looked clear and did an opportunistic GoTo for a quick look for M5 before calling it a night. M5 - Wow! After all that faint stuff this is an absolute corker, tight globular and bright with faint diamond dust at 63x - although it was late I switched to the Baader Zoom & upped the magnification enjoying some super views at around 150x. Decided to end on this stunner and returned home on a bit of a high for a glass of wine and some poring over the Cambridge Star Atlas and Stellarium on my phone to confirm sightings and then read up on some of the amazing objects I'd glimpsed. Tonight I'd upped my personal "distance record" to around 70 Million light years and was amazed to find that M56 is almost as old as the universe itself at 13.5 Billion years, and even better used to be part of something called the "Gaia Sausage" - who knew? As often is the case I finished up by reading some of the history of the objects first categorisation, marvelling again at what Messier, Mechain and the Herschels achieved. Mind blown again...Clear (dark) skies!
  10. From earlier in the month + probably my last image before summer nights descend upon us; I do so like globular clusters! For imaging info + alternative framing see my website here: https://watchthisspaceman.wordpress.com/2021/04/28/twos-company-3/ Graham
  11. Not as spectacular as M13 a few nights ago, but comes up nicely with Samsung Galaxy S10 and an 8" SCT. Conditions were a bit iffy.
  12. This was taken over 4 nights between the 24th September and 6th October as I have a small windows to view objects in the south due to houses and a great big tree getting in the way. Messier 2, also known as NGC7089 is a globular cluster in the constellation of Aquarius. It is one of the largest know globular clusters and was discovered in 1746 by Giovanni Domenico Maraldi. It lies approximately 55000 ly away and is around 174 ly across.
  13. JackCooke

    Messier 92

    After many weeks of telescopes gathering dust I finally managed a long night sketching under the stars. Having only ever sketched open clusters I wanted to attempt a GC. Hercules was well positioned so I chose to draw m92, often overshadowed by the more famous m13. My red torch was a little too bright and there was some intermittent cloud but the sketch comes pretty close to what I saw. All comments / criticisms / comparisons most welcome! Jack p.s. As I was packing up around midnight I saw what I can only assume were parts of a meteorite breaking up in the sky. A long trail of five to ten separate glowing dots moved eastward through cygnus toward the horison. It was like watching several satellites following each other in an absolutely straight line. Anyone else see this or remember something similar?
  14. Hi Guys, I present you the second image taken with my Moravian G4-16000 camera mounted on my modified TeleVue NP101is. Images and technical information below. M13 globular cluster and its galactic area : Full Resolution image 4k x 4k here : www.poigetdigitalpics.com/G4-16000/M13.htm Full Resolution image here : http://www.poigetdigitalpics.com/Fichiers_Divers/M13new_image_Annotated.jpg Enjoy ? Florent
  15. A quick sketch from the 1st September (sorry - date is wrong on the image). M15 was still fairly low in the east but the central condensation of stars really stood out, even in a 5.5inch scope. The bright field star intruding on the edge of the image was distracting. If I had a tracking mount I'd have banished it permanently! A lot of the extended GC was on the threshold of vision and the resolved stars faded in and out. M15 will always have a special place for me as it was the first GC i ever saw Thanks for looking. Jack
  16. Hi, Tried to image my favourite globular cluster. Turned out not too bad! Only took umpteen tries to get the colour right, or should I say close. I remember seeing this through my mate's 14 dob at a dark site once, could not stop saying "oh wow", looks so much better than in my 8" LX90. http://www.pbase.com/grahammeyer/image/167207230 Details under image and you can use the size buttons at the bottom also. Thanks for looking.
  17. Omega Centauri (NGC 5139) is a globular cluster in the constellation of Centaurus. This photo was imaged as a side project using my 8SE on the CGEM and the modded Canon 40D at 2032mm focal length. The total exposure was 97 minutes, 17x60sec, 12x150s and 10x300sec subs at ISO800. Clear Skies,
  18. Observation 25-26 July 2017 Date: 25-26th July 2017 @ 19:50 – 2:30AEST Location: Backyard Equipment: 14” Skywatcher GOTO Dobsonian, Televue 31mm Nagler T5 , Televue 17mm Ethos, Televue 11mm Nagler T6, Televue 2X Powermate, Baader Neodymium, Baader Contrast Booster, Astronomik UHC filter. The first thing I noticed from the beginning is that there was more sky glow than I would like, it was quite obvious that the seeing won't be perfect. I keep hunting for maximum magnification and detail on planets so before observation I re-collimated the Dobsonian from scratch. This time I put a white piece of paper behind the secondary so it was easier to see if the secondary mirror is circular and centered. Second step was to use the laser to collimate but noticed that when I touched or span the laser, its reflection changed, so using it is pointless without first collimating the collimator (what da?) and proceeded to use the Cheshire. As a final step I tweaked the collimation on Saturn and a nearby star. Saturn: Saturn looked soft and fuzzy. The Cassini division was barely hinting itself in and out of a shade like apparition on the outer edges of the rings. There were 5 soft moons around it, but I knew that the seeing was too poor to properly test the collimation tonight. After a disappointing start tonight when comparing to my hope and expectation, while observing Saturn at 150X, at 20:40 (iPhone time, 20:38 "Star Walk" time) a bright satellite flew past and through Saturn. The flyby was not slow but wasn't as fast as a shooting star either. When checking for satellites on the "Star Walk" app, it turned out to be "Envisat". It is rare views like this that make a view memorable and special, by adding a bit of action to the scene. After seeing that Saturn looked quite soft and with the considerable amount of sky glow, I wasn't expecting to get the best views so I took the lazy approach to observing tonight and, after accurately star aligning the scope, selected the objects above 40 degrees in order from the "Deep-Sky Tour" option on the SW14 hand controller. Lagoon Nebula (M8): M8 was visible the same as I saw it last time I was observing and as before the sky glow killed all of the fine detail that I saw back in May. Again the main part of the nebula was visible, the dark lane was there, with a hint of structure with in it, as well as the faint nebulosity around the main “Lagoon” coming into view at 50X and 100X power. During dark nights, there is a lot more visible, especially detail wise within and around the nebula, but unfortunately tonight, that was washed away. As with most nebulae, the best way to view this nebula is by using the UHC filter. Omega Nebula (M17): At 50X and 100X the “Swan” is easily visible, along with some of the outer nebulae coming into view faintly around the “Swan”, particularly behind it. Higher magnification, 200X, the structure and shading was once again very easily visible within the Swan head and body. The use of the UHC filter is a must on this nebula to see all of the details. Still a lot of detail is visible for such a bright sky glow seeing condition. Eagle Nebula (M16): The "E" shape was quite easily visible, not as obvious as during a darker night but still visible among the stars in and around the nebula. I’m very sure that at 200X magnification and using the UHC filter, I saw the “dark pillar”, the middle one out of the “Pillars of creation”, the one with “squiggle” at the bottom of it in the photographs. At 100X there was a quite obvious dark shading where the dark pillar is situated. At first I thought it might be wishful thinking and talking myself into believing that I’m seeing hints of one of the pillars, as the seeing and transparency conditions are not the best, but the more I looked in the area, the more I was seeing a distinct elongated darkening at the correct spot, just under the two brighter stars within the nebula. Pavo Globular Cluster: The Pavo Globular is a very nice looking Globular cluster. At 200X it looked like a typical globular except that it has, what looks like, more brighter individual stars sprinkled at the foreground with the Globular shimmering behind it, a few scattered stars at the edges and one particularly bright star toward edge at the top left. This Globular is not as big as 47Tuc or the Omega Cluster but at higher power, it looks just as nice and interesting. This Globular is definitely in my top 3 Globular Clusters to view to date and I will make the effort to image it hopefully in the not too distant future. Butterfly Cluster: An open star cluster with a bright orange star within that drew attention to itself. At 50-100X magnification it sits nicely within the FOV of both the 31mm Nagler and 17mm Ethos. The Butterfly Cluster is a medium sized open star cluster and with the orange star glowing within it reminds me of two other objects, it sort of resembles the cluster within the center of the Rosette nebula with a touch of the orange jewel from the Jewel Box cluster in Crux. Trifid Nebula (M20): The nebula was surprisingly easy to see tonight considering the glow, but the dark lanes are easily visible, within the easy to see with direct vision, “Trifid”, the double star in the center is easily split and the blue nebula haze is quite easily visible to the right of the “Trifid”. The best way to see M20 was at 100X and 200X magnification and using the UHC filter, although the wide angle view with the 31mm Nagler did give a nice contrasty view of the nebula floating in space, with the wide angle, it was like looking out of a space craft port hole. Comparing the view of the Trifid Nebula to how I saw it from a dark location through the 8", it looked about the same, so not bad for seeing the same view but from a much brighter and worse seeing condition sky. Globular (M4): M4 is quite a small Globular cluster in Scorpius near Antares on the eastern side. This globular needed 200X magnification to resolve its core into granulated stars. Globular (M5): Another Globular Cluster picked from the SW14 deep sky tour hand controller. This Globular is quite bright and looks quite nice in the eyepiece, definitely a considerable amount brighter than, for example, M4 and M80. This Globular looks tightly packed at the core, where the granulation is visible at 100X very easily, and less dense sprinkling of stars at the edges. This Globular Cluster is a worthwhile object to observe during a night of observation. Wild Duck Cluster: This cluster is something different, heaps of stars quite tightly packed, looking almost like fireflies rather than wild ducks. There was the shimmer visible through it which gave it a “being alive effect", it is a good sight at 50X and 100X magnifications. As most objects, this one would really benefit from a dark transparent sky to have the "fireflies" as sharp pin points of light since tonight it sort of looked soft focused. Globular (M2): Another small globular needing 200X to resolve stars at the core, this one seemed tightly packed. I just had a quick look and moved on. Maybe I should have studied it a bit longer but initially it resembled M4 and other small globulars. Globular (M22): M22 is a bright Globular Cluster in Sagittarius. The Sagittarius and Scorpio constellations have, by the look of it, a lot of different types of Globular Clusters. M22 is almost as impressive as the Pavo Globular cluster, it is almost as bright and big as the one in Pavo which places it in close position four of my favorite globulars to date. At 100X I saw a dense core with less dense randomly sprinkled brighter stars at the outer edges. Definitely worth a visit. Globular (M28): M28 is another smallish Globular, not too dim, and a bit bigger than and not as faint as M4. This Globular looks good at 200X. Southern Pinwheel Galaxy (M83): Tonight the view of the galaxy was disappointing at best, all that was visible tonight was the glow of the core, no spiral arms were visible at all at any magnification, 50X-200X. Not even the “S” shape coming through, simply the sky was not transparent enough and I guess it didn't help for it to be getting quite low toward the west. Saturn Nebula: As the last time I looked at this planetary Nebula, it was a fuzzy greenish oval, looking almost as if it's always out of focus, only knowing I was focused by the stars near it. 300X needed to see a decent size, but still looking like a featureless oval that is poorly focused, UHC filter didn't help either. Looking at the Hubble image is obvious why it is looking out of focus. It is a planetary nebula within a fainter more diffuse nebula with a bar structure flowing through it, so at a lower resolution, fainter monochromatic view, the more diffuse nebula flows into the central nebula resulting with a fuzz oval view. Helix Nebula: The "Eye of God" initially looked like a smokey oval which was quite hard to see with no central star and initially only showed dimmer fuzzy center. I stopped observing at about 23:00 because I wanted to see the Helix Nebula higher up in the sky so I decided to comeback to the Helix later. I left the scope tracking on the Helix Nebula for almost 2 hours, and returning at 01:30 when it was much higher in the sky, I was pleasantly surprised that it was still in the FOV... not center any more but still in the 100X magnified Ethos eyepiece FOV. Using the UHC filter the smokey ring was much easier to see than before, when it was lower in the eastern horizon. The smoke ring was defined with a dimmer center, the top and bottom parts of the ring were noticeably brighter with the central neutron star visible when using averted vision. Some of the main stars that I remember in the image I took a while ago were also visible there around the smoke ring. The view in the 8" did not reveal as much detail even though I tried to observe it in a darker sky condition. Not bad for what I saw during a milky bright sky. I was under the impression that there was little or no difference between the 14" and the 8", but after seeing the difference in the Helix Nebula, perhaps I was wrong, and just have the wrong idea of what 3X light gathering power really means. I wonder how it will look under a dark, crystal clear sky. The view without the UHC filter made the central neutron star just barely visible with direct vision, along with the stars around the nebula but the nebula was a lot less obvious, still hinted at some nebulosity, but the structure was not discernible. Under a darker sky I'm sure the view will be staggering. M80: Much like M4 except a little bit fainter. M80 is near Antares on the other, western side. This Globular Cluster needed 200X to resolve the sprinkling of stars that seem to be more sparse at the edges. M9: This is a small and faint Globular cluster that needed to be magnified 200X to see any granulation through it but it is still small when comparing to The Pavo Globular Cluster, M22 or even M4 or M80. 300X was needed to see it at a decent scale where it was still a fair bit fainter than the other globs I observed tonight but at this power it had quite obvious star separation visible in the form of granulation all the way into the core. Neptune: At 150X Neptune was a tiny, pale blue disc not much bigger than the bright stars near it. There is no hope to see any detail in the atmosphere of Neptune so any more magnification is pointless, plus the atmospheric conditions wouldn't allow for it anyway, but it was a tighter point of light than last time I targeted it. It also was a lot higher in the sky. Seeing was quite poor tonight coupled with a lot of obvious sky glow visible to a level where the sky looked milky when dark adapted, resulting in loss of contrast and transparency causing fuzzy views and lack of details. The poor transparency was particularly visible on the brighter nebulae such as M8. The poor seeing also made it impossible to tell whether tonights careful collimation helped the ability to get crisp detail at above 400X magnification. As night went on, the condition improved slightly but still nowhere near the best seeing conditions which I experienced in May. The slight improvement in seeing conditions, along with being higher in the sky, might have been the reason for the increased details and features that I saw on the Helix Nebula after coming back to it 2 hours later. Looking at the objects I bagged tonight, most of the them, by far, were Globular Clusters so I guess tonight was a "night of the Globular". After not expecting too much due to the seeing and taking the lazy Deep-Sky Tour option tonight, I did get a few nice surprises, namely the Helix Nebula, a possible pillar of creation in the eagle and a few nice and bright Globular Clusters, few of which I saw for the first time. I noticed Pegasus/Andromeda at 02:30 as I was packing up and so I tried to find M31 with the binoculars but it was too low in the north, in the direction of many street lights that washed any hint of it away... I guess I'm situated to far south. If you read this novel of ramblings of a astro-nut to the end, thank you and congratulations. Clear skies.
  19. I am a newbie and would appreciate some advice on viewing globular clusters. . I view from Wisconsin, USA which is at 43 degrees latitude. I am using an Orion 6in f/5 (FC750) Newtonian reflector telescope mounted on a SkyWatcher AZ4 mount. I have upgraded the 25mm and 10mm Plossl eyepieces that came with the telescope with TeleVue 18.2 Delite and TeleVue Nagler 5 eyepieces. I have had good views this summer of Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and the Moon and now want to move on to globular clusters Since I currently have a good view of Scorpius, I have been trying to visualize globular cluster M4 using Antares as my initial target. Antares currently sits at 28’ 51’’ so am looking through quite a bit of atmosphere. Using Stellarium as my guide in walking from Antares, I am able to see, what I think is, the vague, hazy and very dim outline of M4 - not any way near the brightness shown me by Stellarium using the ocular view feature with the parameters of my telescope and eyepiece (normally the 18.2 Delite) plugged in. So my questions (thanks for your patience in reading thus far): Do you have any suggestions of how I might enhance the brightness and resolution of the stars in M4. Is there simply too much atmosphere for me to look through to expect a better view? Is there a filter that might be helpful? I am normally viewing within 6o minutes of sunset when I see a sky full of stars. Do I need to wait an hr or two, for more complete darkness? Other suggestions? Are my expectations too great under my viewing conditions? Is there more a accessable cluster for me to cut my teeth on? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  20.   Observing Information DSO - M13,M52 Date - 15/08/16 Time - 00:30-01:30 Lunar Phase - Waning Gibbious 79% Luminosity Seeing - Excellent Equipment - Celestron Nexstar 6SE, No filters used Eyepieces - Pentax SMC 8-24 Zoom Eyepiece. M13-17.5mm, M52-24mm. Additional info - What a beautiful night of observing, I purposely chose 2 targets furthest away from the moon and found they offered some really good detail especially M13. The longer I observed the more stars and structure it yielded, I honestly could have spent another hour adding to it but felt with the moon being so bright I wasn't going to get much more. M52 was another object enough away from the moon to show some lovely detail and I was impressed with how many stars I could observe and how many levels of brightness and detail in the stars I could discern, it really was a challenge but I loved every minute ? I hope you enjoyed viewing my sketches as much as I enjoyed sketching them Clear skies ???? Richard
  21. This is a series of 10 minute and 60 second LRGB subs from the Deep Sky West facility in New Mexico. Processing was done mostly in PI, but PS was used for final tweaking. You may need to click the full size image to see the 'propeller'. Luminance: 35x60" bin 1x1 Luminance: 11x600" bin 1x1 Red: 12x60" bin 1x1 Red: 20x600" bin 1x1 Green: 12x60" bin 1x1 Green: 20x600" bin 1x1 Blue: 12x60" bin 1x1 Blue: 20x600" bin 1x1 Which I think makes exactly 13 hours. Tak FSQ 106; Paramount MyT; QSI 683; Astrodon Filters
  22. Hi, I was asked on a Swedish forum to put an "Astronomical Dictionary" on my homepage. I have made a test page in an easy form. Astronomical related words linked to wikipedia. It aims to the beginners in astronomy so it should not be too complicated words. http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/astronomical-dictionary/astronomical-dictionary.html Let me know if it's useful and and I shall add more words. /Lars
  23. A quick shot of the M3 globular cluster taken on 10th January. 18 x 15 second exposures at 6400 ISO. Processed in DSS with x3 Drizzle. Final tweaking was done in Photoshop.
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