Thursday, April 21, 2016

Butterfly drama in Zatom

Here is 4h of LRGB frames I have made in Zatom at spring Star Party. Unfortunately I had tilted focuser when exposing G and B channels and it was very hard to adjust color well at stars :( I planned this frame for some time, and it happened to be a small failure :( Well, I will get back to it some day maybe :)
Top right is Messier 58 galaxy in Virgo Cluster - one of the brightest galaxy in this cluster. Bottom left Butterfly Galaxies (or Siamese Twins) in the same cluster.
TS130/910 0.79x, Atik383, LRGB 4h in 10 and 5 minutes subs. 
M58 and Butterfly Galaxies in Virgo Cluster

Clear skies!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

AR2529 Heart Sunspot

Last Sunday morning I was eventually able to picture this large group AR2529 again. Last time it was just appearing at the Sun edge:  . Now it traversed the Sun disk and is close to hide at the other edge. Magnificent view with SC filter and 16mm eyepiece.
Pictures below made with SCT8" and ND5 filter plus Baader SC filter (top) and Baader R610 filter (another two). ASI120MM camera, and TV x2 barlow (last picture).

Clear skies!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Messier 48 lost-and-found

Messier 48 is a star open cluster in the constellation of Hydra. It spans over almost one degree in the sky and contains about 80 stars placed about 1500 light years away from us. Cluster has been discovered by Charles Messier on February 19, 1771, but due to error in data reduction the object was missing from Messier catalogue until Oswald Thomas identified is in 1934, and independently T.F. Morris in 1959. John Herschel described this cluster as:
"A superb cluster which fills the whole field; stars of 9th and 10th to the 13th magnitude – and none below, but the whole ground of the sky on which it stands is singularly dotted over with infinitely minute points [stars]. Place that of a bright star, the southern of two which point into the concavity of an arc."
Shot under suburban sky and in the moonlight with TS130/910 0.79x and Atik383 camera. Baader RGB filters, 3x12x3 minutes exposures.
M48 open cluster
Clear skies!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Planetary newbie

Well, not newbie as "youg", but rather "recently discovered". PuWe1 (PNG 158.9 + 17.8) is a pretty large (about 20 arc minutes diameter) planetary nebula in the constellation of Lynx. It was discovered by Purgathofer and Weinberger in 1980 and is placed about 3500 light years away. Although quite large it is also very faint object - but as visual observers reported possible to see with Oiii filter. 
550 minutes of total exposure here under light polluted sky. 400 minutes of h-alpha and 150 minutes of RGB. With 130mm refractor and Atik383 camera.
PuWe1 planetary nebula in Lynx
Clear skies!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Moonwalk - lunation 6.5

Almost two years ago there was similar moonwalk with lunation 7.1. Now a little bit earlier, similar objects, but different setup - 8 inches SCT with ASI120MM camera at 4600mm focal. Seeing was so so, like 3/5. Pixel scale is about 300m/px. 

Theophilus and Cyrillus craters

Bumpy area under Eudoxus crater

Lacus Mortis with Burg crater and easily visible Rimae Burg above
Clear skies!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Messier number 3

Messier 3 is a globular star cluster in constellation of Canes Venatici. It is an impressive one, only a little bit smaller than well known M13 in Hercules. Contains about half of million stars and is located about 34000 light years away. M3 is estimated to be 8 billion years old. Not visible with naked eye, but magnificent target for any instrument - starting from small binoculars till the large dobs.
I pictured it from my backyard under mediocre sky with some high clouds and Moon present. Shot with TS130/910 0.79x refractor, Atik383 camera and Baader LRGB filters. Total exposure time was 160 minutes.
M3 globular cluster in Canes Venatici
Although both sky conditions and exposure time were moderate, there are whole bunch of distant object recorded. Down till magnitude 19.5 several hundreds of remote galaxies can be spotted.
Distant galaxies next to M3 cluster
Clear skies!

Zatom planetary

At 12th Star Party in Zatom I made a few first lights of 8" cat from Celestron. Tried to collimate it as good as possible, and here we are:
New active region appears at the Sun edge
Jupiter with GRS and nice twirls next to it

And some pictures from transits, unfortunately seeing was very poor that night:

Clear skies!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Last Jupiter

I mean - last before this year Zatom spring star party. I need to pack all my gears and spend few hours travelling, so I cannot afford to forget anything.
Anyway - here it is Jupiter from 8" cat in colors. Made with strange combination of the following filters:
 - Baader IR pass 685nm as R
 - Wratten #56 + IR cut as G
 - Wratten #80A + IR cut as B
ASI120MM camera, and the result (mediocre seeing):
Jupiter 2016-04-04 21:01UT

Clear skies!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Just for fun

I recently purchased something that has won the astronomy amateurs hearts already a long time ago - 8 inches cat. The plan is to use this versatile instrument in a few ways - at AstroEQ equipped CG4 mount for planetary imaging, but also with AZ mount for visual observing.
8 inches second hand cat at home
Last night it made a first light with Jupiter - no bells and whistles though. No Red Spot, no spectacular Jupiter moons events, no planetary filters, and of course poor seeing. But hey, that's first light only :)

Celestron C8 with TV x2, 4600mm focal, ASI120MM, IR cut, 300 of 3000 frames.
First light Jupiter
Clear skies!