Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Great Bear orbs

This is well known galaxy pair in Great Bear constellation - M82 Cigar Galaxy and M81 Bode's Galaxy. Both placed about 12 million light years away are quite easy target for visual observing even through the binoculars. Messier 81 has been discovered by Johann Elert Bode in 1774. M81 galaxy is the largest member of M81 Group, a group of 34 galaxies located in Ursa Major. Gravitational interactions of M81 with M82 and NGC3077 (see have stripped hydrogen gas away from all three galaxies, forming gaseous filamentary structures. The galaxies seems to be emerged in the delicate dust structures, these structures are known as Integrated Flux Nebula, and are placed in our Galaxy (see that’s why the background does not seem to be quite flat. 
M82 galaxy was previuosly believed to be an irregular galaxy. In 2005 however, two symmetric spiral arms were discovered in near infrared images. 

M81 and M82 galaxy pair in Great Bear
There are also some distant worlds recorded in the image - the brighter one is 17.6mag and is placed about 9 billion light years away

The fainter has apparent magnitude 19.8 ans is 12 billion light years away

Distant quasars next to M81

Picture has been made with 8" newtonian and Atik383 camera. Total exposure time is 7.5h.

Clear skies!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Berenice Marathon

Visual sky observers have kind of exhausting event - there is the most famous catalog of deep sky objects, Messier Catalog. It contains 110 galaxies, nebulae and star clusters. And during spring there is an opportunity to observe all of them over one night. It is called Messier Marathon . There is no such dedicated event for astrophotography amateurs, but I was a little bit jelaous and tried to perform such marathon with galaxy rich fields in Coma Berenices constellation. Of course weather tangled my plans, and I had to stop before I reach even half-way point :( So only eight images have been created, each exposed 10 minutes with 200/800 newtonian and Atik383 camera April 15, 2015.

NGC4136 region
NGC4173 region
NGC4274 region
NGC4559 region
NGC4565 Needle region 
NGC4725 region 
Coma Cluster I part
M85 region

Clear skies!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Red jelly

IC443 nebula is also known as Jellyfish Nebula. It is supernova remnant (SNR) in the constellation Gemini placed about 5000 light years away. The nebula is quite large (almost as twice large as apparent Moon diameter) but glows very faint, and is difficult target for visual observing. The remnant’s age is still uncertain - different estimations give values between 3000 and 30000 years ago. 
IC443 Jellyfish nebula in Gemini

Shot with 8" f/4 newtonian, Atik383 camera with hydrogen alpha and RGB filters, 5h50min total exposure time.

Clear skies!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Edwin Coddington visits Great Bear

IC2574 dwarf galaxy is a member of M81 Group. It has been discovered in 1898 by Edwin Coddington so it is also known as Coddington Nebula. Total apparent brightness of this galaxy is 10.6mag and its angular size 12.3x5.9'. In this galaxy many regions of star formation can be spotted. This type of dwarf irregular galaxies are known as one of the oldest objects in the Universe. Scientists call them often living fossils, so they can help us to determine evolution fo more complex galaxies, like our Milky Way. 
In IC2574 galaxy there are many supernovae bubbles. In these areas lot of new stars are born. 
IC2574 Coddington's Nebula dwarf galaxy
Frame center crop
Images has been pictured in Zatom on 2015, March 19 with 200/800 newtonian, Atik383 camera and LRGB filters. Exposures: 24:5:5:5 x 10 minutes. In negative version after stretching the picture some traces of Integrated Flux Nebula can be found, however in this area there is not much of it:
Integrated Flux Nebula traces
There are stars and other items up to 23mag apparent brightness registered in the picture. When we enalrge any part of the frame we can see most of the spots are actually very distant galaxies, not a stars:
100% enlarged top left part
Clear skies!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Birthday Triplet

The frame below is built around galaxy triplet in Leo. There are actually a few galaxy triplets in Leo, the brightest galaxy in this one is M105 elliptical galaxy. This one has not been put into original Messier catalogue. It was added there in 1947 by Helen S. Hogg. M105 has been discovered March 24th, 1781 by Pierre Mechain, a few days after he discovered M95 and M96 galaxies nearby. It is located about 32 million light years away. Hubble Space Telescope research indicated, that there is massive object in the galaxy center, probably a black hole with mass about 200 millions of solar mass. 
M105 galaxy togehter with NGC3384 (to the left) are surrounded with large molecular hydrogen cloud that radius is estimated for 650 thousands light years. NGC3384 is also an elliptical galaxy, that one has been discovered by William Herschel in 1784. Star color in this galaxy center have been determined and it turned out it that over 80% of them belongs to the population II, so the stars older than one billion years. 
Third object in this obvious triplet formation is spiral galaxy NGC3373 (NGC3389). All these three items are members of Leo I Group altogehter with some other galaxies (like for example M95 and M96 that did not fit this frame).

Yet another Leo triplet with M105 galaxy

The total exposure time was almost 10 hours, so there is much more in there. Although the picture has been shot from my backyard where dark sky is not actually dark, the faintest recorded stars are about 22mag (so for example 100 million times fainter than Polaris). Also many many distant galaxies have been pictured. There are much more galaxies than our Milky Way stars in the image. As you can see below - each white cross indicates a galaxy identified in SDSS project. And there are two possible distant galaxy clusters marked with red ovals - at 1.3 and 1.8 billion light years.
Distant galaxies in the frame crop
Image part annotated with redshifts

I planned this frame as first galaxies to picture with my 8" ATM newtonian. So there they are, however not an extraordinary view at all, just faint fuzzies :)
One may as why birthday? Because light has been collected at my birthday and one day after :)
Negative image annotated with PGC catalog galaxies

Clear skies!