October 25, 2020

IC 5146, the Cocoon Nebula (August 2020)

This is 36x900" with the Atik 460EXC through the 203mm Synta-ONTC Newtonian at f/4.95 and an Astronomik CLS filter.

October 1, 2020

NGC 7048 (Sept. 2020)

I didn't know about this button on the sky until I turned the camera on it late one night.  The moon was 72% waxing, and I needed a fairly bright target.

This image is 16x10' with the Atik 460EXC through a 203mm f/4.95 Synta-ONTC Newtonian and an Astronomik CLS filter.

NGC 457, the Owl or ET Cluster (Sept. 2020)

NGC 457 is one of my favorite open clusters.  Through a telescope, it is stunning, partly because of the contrast between the brighter stars and the dimmer diamonds.  This image is 19x300" with the Atik 460EXC through the 203mm f/4.95 Synta-ONTC Newtonian and an Astronomik CLS filter.

September 16, 2020

The Dark Tower of Scorpius (Sept. 2018)


This is the Dark Tower, a cloud of gas and dust from which stars are forming.  Its glow is produced in reaction to ultraviolet radiation from NGC 6231, a cluster of young, bright stars off the screen to the left.  The Dark Tower doesn't really have a catalog designation or number, and it actually stretches a bit further to the left off this image. It's just an unnamed but interesting area of the sky.  The whole complex is perhaps 5,000 light years away.  NGC 6231 and the nebula can be seen (if you can see them) near the first (not the last) sharp curve of the scorpion's tale.

September 15, 2020

Grus Triplet (Summer 2018)

I've been saving this data till I could look at it again with a better eye.  This data comes from an observatory in Australia.

These three galaxies appear in the constellation Grus (the crane).   They are, from upper left to lower right, NGC 7582, 7590, and 7599.  The trio and one other companion, NGC 7552 (off the top of this frame), lie about 60 million light years distant.  The quartet is gravitationally interactive, and these three show tidal effects from each other's pull.  https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/pdf/2005/01/aagi011.pdf.  One tidal tail stretches almost all the way from NGC 7582 to NGC 7590, but the tail is too dim and the wrong part of the spectrum to appear in this image.

August 23, 2020

NGC 4302 (Hubble Legacy Archives), May 3, 2000


This image is from data in the Hubble Legacy Archives.  These are single exposures from the space telescope at three different wavelengths (with the F450W, F555W, and F814W filters), combined to create an RGB file.

NGC 4302 is about 55 million light years away and appears in the constellation Coma Berenices.  The boxy center of the galaxy suggests a central bar.  NGC 4302 is a Seyfert galaxy.

NGC 4302 appears next to NGC 4298, another galaxy, and at least one study has shown a bridge of radio emission moving between them, evidence of some interaction.

August 22, 2020

Elephant Trunk, IC 1396A (Summer 2020)

This dark cloud floats in front of a field of glowing hydrogen (red). 

This is 31x900" through the Synta-ONTC 203mm f/4.95 Newtonian and an Astronomik CLS filter with the Atik 460EXC.