Saturday, March 11, 2017

Cigar Galaxy (M82), Bode's Galaxy (M81)

Bode's galaxy (M81) is a large bright spiral galaxy located approximately 11.8 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Ursa Major. The Cigar Galaxy (M82) can be found right next to M81 and resembles a cigar of sorts. This pair of galaxies look amazing next to each other, and the differences between them is striking. NGC3077 completes this trio of galaxies, but is more of a faint blob compared to its neighbors. I took these over a 3 week period in by backyard in Cathedral City California.

Equipment used:
Celestron Nexstar 6se
6.3 focal reducer
AVX Mount
Canon 450d 600s iso800
Orion skyglow filter

6 hours total exposure time

Bode's Galaxy M81

Cigar Galaxy M82

Here are the 2 images stitched together, creating a wider field of view. I also was able to add some H-Alpha data to M81 which gives it a bit more color


This next image was taken with a Orion ST80 which has awider field of view and shows all 3 galaxies 
Orion ST80
AVX Mount
Canon 450d 300s iso800
Orion skyglow filter


Moon Craters taken 3-8-17

I snapped an image of Clavius (crater) and Longomontanus (crater) the other night. The seeing was amazing, and the images show all kinds of detail.

Celestron Nexstar 6se
Celestron AVX Mount
ASI120MC-S Camera
Taken in Cathedral City, CA

 Clavius (crater)


Longomontanus (crater)

Jupiter rotation video 3-8-17

The other night I was out in the backyard imaging Jupiter and decided to make a rotation video of the planet. I ended up with 2 separate videos because the seeing changed and I had to reduce my magnification a bit. The end results turned out pretty good though!

These were made up of individual images taken every so often between 11pm and about 3am, so around a 4 hour period of rotation.

Celestron Nexstar 6se
Celestron AVX Mount
ASI120MC-S Camera
Taken in Cathedral City, CA

video


video


Here is a couple still images from the videos:

Jupiter rotation video 3-8-17

Jupiter rotation video 3-8-17

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jupiter 2-1-17

Finally, Jupiter is back in the night sky! Oh, how I have missed this beautiful gas giant of a planet. As much as I enjoy imaging deep sky objects, my first love will always be planetary imaging. There is just something about imaging our local neighbors that puts me in a wonderful mood. Watching Jupiter rotate throughout the night is a sight to behold, and for such a large planet it does so about every 10 hours as opposed to our 24 hour Earth rotation. This means I can watch the great red spot on Jupiter slide across the surface in a matter of hours, and I can even see the movement of its 4 brighter moons. The black dot you see in the image is a shadow transit of Europa, one of Jupiter's larger moons.

P.S. This is my best image of Jupiter...so far

Technical details:
9,000 frames de-rotated in Winjupos
Stacked in Autostakkert2
Sharpened in Avistack2 and PS
Celestron Nexstar 6se telescope + 2x Barlow + 24mm eyepiece and extension tube
Celestron AVX Mount
Asi120mc-s camera

Jupiter 2-1-17

The Rosette Nebula

The Rosette Nebula taken in Cathedral City, CA

I've wanted to image the Rosette nebula for some time now, but with my Celestron 6se telescope it was not really feasible due to the large focal length of the scope. The Rosette nebula is huge! I decided to give it a try with my new Orion ST80, and I could not be happier with how it turned out. It is certainly not a Hubble image, but I did the best I could under light polluted skies, and man does it look beautiful.

5 hours total exposure time
Canon 450d
Orion ST80
Orion Skyglow filter
Celestron AVX mount

Stacked in DSS
Edited it CS6 and LR

The Rosette Nebula taken in Cathedral City, CA

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Orion Nebula and Running Man Nebula

Orion Nebula and Running Man Nebula, 4 hours of exposure time. I've been hitting this one every chance I get, I love these 2 nebulae. They are probably my favorite to image. I'm hoping to end up with 8 hours or more of exposure time, cloudy for the next few days here so it will have to wait.


4 hours total exposure time

Canon 450d

Orion Skyglow filter

Orion ST80

Celestron AVX Mount

Asi120mc-s guide camera

Cathedral City, CA




Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November 14 2016 Supermoon taken in Cathedral City, CA

I hope you all enjoyed the Supermoon, here's a hi-res image I took of the Supermoon in Cathedral City! This is a 25 panel mosaic stitched together to create the final image. I will say that I didn't notice much of a difference in the overall apparent size of the full Moon, but it was a heck of a lot brighter than normal.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Spot the Space Station over the Coachella Valley tonight




Spot the International Space Station over the Coachella Valley twice tonight! The first one is almost 7 minutes long and starts at 6:39pm. At 7 minutes long, this will appear to be a slow moving, but increasingly brightening star crossing the sky. It will appear in the Northwest at a 10 degree elevation and pass through the Little Dipper near the north star Polaris. Maximum elevation is 51 degrees, then it will start to fade away into the Southeastern sky. At a magnitude -3.6 it should be pretty bright, the Sun sets at 6:06pm so it will not be the darkest sky but I've personally seen the station pass by in daylight before, so no worries. 

The second chance tonight to spot the Space Station will be at 8:18pm, this one only last for 1 minute and will be low on the horizon at a max elevation of 11 degrees and reach a magnitude 1.0. If you have a unobstructed view of the Southwest, it will pass very near the planet Saturn.