June 30, 2015

Jupiter & Venus Alignment - June 30, 2015

Jupiter was very close to Venus tonight.  This is the view through the SV110ED with the Canon T3i and AT2FF.  It rained this evening where I live, so I drove about thirty miles north to find a hole in the clouds.  Anyway, the best view is one you don't see here.  It was at 77x through a 10mm eyepiece.  In that view, Jupiter's cloudbands shone, and all four moons were points of light.  Venus was an amazing crescent on the other side.  So I could actually observe six solar system bodies in a single view.  Pretty amazing!

June 25, 2015

Observations with the SV110ED (6-24-15)

The sky was clear until around 11:30 tonight.  I mounted the SV110ED on the Tak EM-10 and took a ride through the eastern sky.  Objects observed included

1) Globular clusters: M92, M13, NGC 6229, M56.

2) Planetaries: M57, NGC 6210 (in Hercules; small and trapezoid shaped, faint around the edges and irregular), NGC 6543 (Cat's Eye Nebula, in Draco, shaped like a cat's eye, and some faint nebulosity around it).

3) Numerous double stars, but the most fun was Al Fawaris, aka Delta Cygni.  The separation is 2.7" but at magnitudes 2.91 and 6.27.  I pumped the magnification to 388x before I could clearly see the dimmer star, and then only when seeing did not wash it out.  Cool.  Also, 17 Herculis was great, as was Sarin and many others.  Could drive a truck through the Double Double at 194x, but it was cleanly split at 77x.

The scope was on one tonight: textbook images, and seeing was not bad.

Four Solar System Objects, June 19, 2015

One-third resolution image here.

Here is, in descending order, Jupiter, Venus, Luna, and Earth.  OK, there is not much Earth showing, but, I assure you, the trees were attached.  Canon T3i from the shores of Lake Murvaul, Texas.

June 9, 2015

B343 in Cygnus (June 6, 2015)

70% resolution available here.

This dark nebula in Cygnus is here framed by the light of ionized hydrogen.  On the right are two brighter ionization fronts; obviously the cloud is moving somewhere.  Nearby small dark nebulae spot the area.

Usually, I present images full-frame, but parts of this area are dim enough that I was unable to get a clean image in 4.5 hours.  This image is shrunk to about 70% of full frame.

Telescope: Astro-Tech AT111EDT and William Optics AFR-IV (eff. f/5.6)
Camera and Exposure: SXVF-H9 (Ha 11x1500"); Alnitak Flat-man flats
Filter(s): Astronomik 6nm Ha
Guiding: SX Lodestar and SX OAG
Mount: Takahashi NJP
Software: Nebulosity, PHD, Maxim DL, Photoshop CS3
Location: The Woodlands, TX