March 12, 2019

NGC 2359, Thor's Helmet (Winter 2018-19)


The brightest star inside the filamented blue box is HD 56925, a Wolf-Rayet star well on its way to blowing up as a supernova.  A Wolf-Rayet is a very large (10-80 solar masses) star that has become unstable in its advanced age. W-R stars burn very hot on their surfaces, as hot as 50,000 C. In this image, HD 56925 ionizes the local gas, here mostly hydrogen (reddish) and oxygen (bluish). The star has also blown out a bubble around itself, hence the box. There is much more to this nebula than a hot star in a box, though. At least some of the gas has been expelled from the star itself, while some of it is just interstellar gas that HD 56925's hot stellar wind has stirred up and energized.

This data is 9 hours of Ha and 7 hours of OIII with a 17" CDK and SBIG STXL 11002 through Astrodon filters, gathered by MPAstro in Australia.

March 2, 2019

Corona Australis Molecular Cloud, NGC 6726, 6727, 6729, IC 4812, Globular Cluster NGC 6723 (2018)


The Corona Australis Molecular Cloud produces new stars, hot and blue, that light up the dust like two eyes of a ghostly alien.  Each eye of this alien is two stars (not double stars, but aligned from our line of sight), yet each of the four is also a close double or multiple star.  Just below the left eye is fan-shaped nebula NGC 6729.  At the fan's point is R CoA and following up closely is T CoA, both very young stars. Just to the right is curly HH100, an Herbig-Haro object spewed from a newly forming star. Appearing above the nebulosity is NGC 6723, a background globular cluster some 30,000 light years away. This is from data obtained by Martin Pugh with a Tak FSQ106.

February 17, 2019

Lunar Eclipse Mosaic (January 2019)


Taken through the Synta-ONTC 203mm f/4.95 Newtonian with a Canon T3i and Baader MPCC II.

January 21, 2019

Lunar Eclipse - First Light (Jan. 2019)


Here is a preliminary of the lunar eclipse last night.  It was a stunning show! This is just a few seconds with the Canon T3i through a Baader MPCC and my Synta-ONTC 203mm Newtonian at f/4.95.  Through the telescope, we could see stars all around the copper moon.

January 10, 2019

M1 with the CFF290 Classical Cassegrain (Jan. 2019)

This is 37x720" with the CFF290 Classical Cassegrain reduced from f/13.5 to eff. f/8.1, taken with the SX-H9C and the Astronomik CLS filter.

December 28, 2018

NGC 1491 (Dec. 2018)

This is 21x1800" with the SXVF-H9 through the 6nm Astronomik H-alpha filter and Synta-ONTC 8" f/4.95 Newt. The brighter star in the center driving the hydrogen emission is 11.2-magnitude BD +50 886, classified as O5 or O4.  Source.  The nebula is probably over 10,000 light years away. I was able to catch two nights on this nebula.  The first night was somewhat less transparent, but the data seemed good.  The second night had excellent transparency.

December 8, 2018

M1 Bi-color (Dec. 2018)

This is M1, the remnant of a nearly 1,000-year-old supernova. If you look closely, at the center of the nebula you can see two stars, very close together.  The dimmer of the two is the pulsar, what is left of the exploded star.  This image is 10x1800" in Ha and 11x1800" in OIII with the SXVF-H9 through the Synta-ONTC 8" at f/4.95.