Sunday, September 26, 2021

NGC 7331 and friends

 

Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 7331 is often touted as an analog to our own Milky Way. About 50 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Pegasus, NGC 7331 was recognized early on as a spiral nebula and is actually one of the brighter galaxies not included in Charles Messier's famous 18th century catalog. Since the galaxy's disk is inclined to our line-of-sight, long telescopic exposures often result in an image that evokes a strong sense of depth. The effect is further enhanced in this sharp image by galaxies that lie beyond the gorgeous island universe. The background galaxies are about one tenth the apparent size of NGC 7331 and so lie roughly ten times farther away. Their close alignment on the sky with NGC 7331 occurs just by chance. Seen here through faint foreground dust clouds lingering above the plane of Milky Way, this visual grouping of galaxies is also known as the Deer Lick Group.


Optics: Vixen VC200L @ f/6.4
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Synscan Pro
Guiding: SBIG ST2000XM ST4
Camera: SBIG ST2000XM
Filter Wheel: SBIG CFW9
Filters: Astronomik L
CCD Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius
Constellation: Pegasus
Date: Sep 25, 2021
Location: Korinthos - Greece - Albireo Observatory I
Exposure:
Lum: 12x10 min bin 1x1
Calibration: Darks, Flats, Bias

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

NGC 7789: Caroline's Rose

 


Found among the rich starfields of the Milky Way, star cluster NGC 7789 lies about 8,000 light-years away toward the constellation Cassiopeia. A late 18th century deep sky discovery of astronomer Caroline Lucretia Herschel, the cluster is also known as Caroline's Rose. Its flowery visual appearance in small telescopes is created by the cluster's nestled complex of stars and voids. Now estimated to be 1.6 billion years young, the galactic or open cluster of stars also shows its age. All the stars in the cluster were likely born at the same time, but the brighter and more massive ones have more rapidly exhausted the hydrogen fuel in their cores. These have evolved from main sequence stars like the Sun into the many red giant stars shown with a yellowish cast in this lovely color composite. Using measured color and brightness, astronomers can model the mass and hence the age of the cluster stars just starting to "turn off" the main sequence and become red giants. Over 50 light-years across, Caroline's Rose spans about half a degree (the angular size of the Moon) near the center of the wide-field telescopic image.

Optics: Vixen ED81s @ f/5.2
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Synscan Pro (belt mod)
Guiding: ST-237 guide chip of SBIG ST2000XM
Camera: SBIG ST2000XM
Filter Wheel: SBIG CFW9
Filters: L,R,G,B
CCD Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius
Constellation: Cassiopeia
Date: August 8-9, 2021
Location: Korinthos - Greece - Albireo Observatory 1
Exposure:
L=12x600 min bin 1x1
R=12x300 min bin 1x1
G=12x300 min bin 1x1
B=12x300 min bin 1x1
Calibration: Darks, Flats, Bias

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

NGC 7129 and NGC 7142

 


This wide-field telescopic image looks toward the constellation Cepheus and an intriguing visual pairing of dusty reflection nebula NGC 7129 (right) and open star cluster NGC 7142. The two appear separated by only half a degree on the sky, but they actually lie at quite different distances. In the foreground, dusty nebula NGC 7129 is about 3,000 light-years distant, while open cluster NGC 7142 is likely over 6,000 light-years away. In fact, pervasive and clumpy foreground dust clouds in this region redden the light from NGC 7142, complicating astronomical explorations of the cluster. Still, NGC 7142 is thought to be an older open star cluster, while the bright stars embedded in NGC 7129 are perhaps a few million years young. The telltale reddish crescent shapes around NGC 7129 are associated with energetic jets streaming away from newborn stars.


Optics: Vixen ED81s @ f/5.2
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Synscan Pro (belt mod)
Guiding: ST-237 guide chip of SBIG ST2000XM
Camera: SBIG ST2000XM
Filter Wheel: SBIG CFW9
Filters: L,R,G,B
CCD Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius
Constellation: Cepheus
Date: August 7-8, 2021
Location: Korinthos - Greece - Albireo Observatory 1
Exposure:
L=12x600 min bin 1x1
R=12x300 min bin 1x1
G=12x300 min bin 1x1
B=12x300 min bin 1x1
Calibration: Darks, Flats, Bias

Monday, September 6, 2021

Sh2-155 (cave nebula)

 



Sh2-155, informally known as the "cave nebula," is dark cloud of gas embedded in a giant emission nebula. The top edge of the cloud is illuminated by several hot, massive (OB) stars that are part of the Cepheus OB3 association. The image was generated with observations in Hydrogen alpha (red), Luminance, Red, Green, Blue filters, from a light polluted sky in Korinthos Greece.

Technical details:


Optics: Vixen ED81s @ f/5.2
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Synscan Pro (belt mod)
Guiding: ST-237 guide chip of SBIG ST2000XM
Camera: SBIG ST2000XM
Filter Wheel: SBIG CFW9
Filters: Ha,L,R,G,B
CCD Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius
Constellation: Cepheus
Date: August 1-3, 2021
Location: Korinthos - Greece - Albireo Observatory 1
Exposure:
L=12x600 min bin 1x1
R=12x300 min bin 1x1
G=12x300 min bin 1x1
B=12x300 min bin 1x1
Ha=18x1200 min bin 1x1
Calibration: Darks, Flats, Bias


Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Sh2-115

 


Sharpless 115 stands just north and west of Deneb, the alpha star of Cygnus the Swan in planet Earth's skies. Noted in the 1959 catalog by astronomer Stewart Sharpless (as Sh2-115) the faint but lovely emission nebula lies along the edge of one of the outer Milky Way's giant molecular clouds, about 7,500 light-years away. Shining with the light of ionized atoms of hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen, the nebular glow is powered by hot stars in star cluster Berkeley 90. The cluster stars are likely only 100 million years old or so and are still embedded in Sharpless 115. But the stars' strong winds and radiation have cleared away much of their dusty, natal cloud. At the emission nebula's estimated distance, this cosmic close-up spans just under 100 light-years.

Technical details:


Optics: Vixen ED81s @ f/5.2
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Synscan Pro (belt mod)
Guiding: ST-237 guide chip of SBIG ST2000XM
Camera: SBIG ST2000XM
Filter Wheel: SBIG CFW9
Filters: Ha,L,R,G,B
CCD Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius
Constellation: Cygnus
Date: August 11-13, 2021
Location: Korinthos - Greece - Albireo Observatory 1
Exposure:
L=12x600 min bin 1x1
R=12x300 min bin 1x1
G=12x300 min bin 1x1
B=12x300 min bin 1x1
Ha=18x1200 min bin 1x1
Calibration: Darks, Flats, Bias

Monday, August 30, 2021

The Propeller Nebula - Simeis 57


DWB 111 or Simeis 57, also known as the Propeller nebula is an emission nebula in the Cygnus constellation. The distance from Earth is unknown but it is only a small part of a larger emission nebula.

Technical details:

Optics: Vixen ED81s @ f/5.2
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Synscan Pro (belt mod)
Guiding: ST-237 guide chip of SBIG ST2000XM
Camera: SBIG ST2000XM
Filter Wheel: SBIG CFW9
Filters: Ha,L,R,G,B
CCD Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius
Constellation: Cygnus
Date: August 4-6, 2021
Location: Korinthos - Greece - Albireo Observatory 1
Exposure:
L=12x600 min bin 1x1
R=12x300 min bin 1x1
G=12x300 min bin 1x1
B=12x300 min bin 1x1
Ha=18x1200 min bin 1x1
Calibration: Darks, Flats, Bias



Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The Muscleman Cluster: Stock 2 Open Cluster in Cassiopeia

 


Stock 2 (OCL 348, Lund 71 and the Muscleman Cluster) is a class I 2 m open cluster of 54 stars in Cassiopeia. This is one of 24 open clusters compiled by Jurgen Stock in the 1950s. A full list can be found here - http://www.deepskypedia.com/wiki/List:Stock.


Technical details:

Optics: Vixen ED81s @ f/5.2
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Synscan Pro (belt mod)
Guiding: ST-237 guide chip of SBIG ST2000XM
Camera: SBIG ST2000XM
Filter Wheel: SBIG CFW9
Filters: Ha,L,R,G,B
CCD Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius
Constellation: Cassiopeia
Date: August 3-4, 2021
Location: Korinthos - Greece - Albireo Observatory 1
Exposure:
L=12x600 min bin 1x1
R=12x300 min bin 1x1
G=12x300 min bin 1x1
B=12x300 min bin 1x1
Calibration: Darks, Flats, Bias