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. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Triangulum Galaxy M33 Backyard Astrophotography

The Triangulum Galaxy, or Messier 33, is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Triangulum, and is visible to the naked eye under dark sky conditions. Unfortunately, deep sky objects like this are not visible to the unaided eye here in the Coachella Valley due to city light pollution. I was able to capture this on 9-30-16 during the new moon phase, and am very happy with how it turned out.

3 hours total exposure time

37x150s lights
12x180s lights
13x240s lights
68 darks
40 bias
38 flats

Celestron Nexstar 6se + wedge
6.3 focal reducer
canon 450d
asi120mc-s guiding

Triangulum Galaxy M33 Backyard Astrophotography


Reprocessed this data with an additional 4 hours of exposure time for a grand total of 7 hours

Triangulum Galaxy M33 Backyard Astrophotography