Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nebular variations...

This strange object is known as Hubble's Variable Nebula. It is suspected to be a cloud of space dust that is swirling and twirling in space. It's motion causes the light to be reflected in a multitude of different patterns which appear different every time it is viewed.

This also highlights another variable of mine. I get frustrated by the small diameter of my Intes-Micro scope this was imaged with, but love the fact that it is nearly wind-proof in the great New Mexico whirlwind where I live. I have considered selling it many times, to replace it with a Celestron 8 inch SCT or something similar. Then I get results like this image, and I am reminded why I image with this scope. On a great night, the optics are astounding, and the field is basically totally flat.

Then I think to myself, what could replace it?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Owl Face

I took this image of the Owl Nebula, M97, several nights ago. The colors came out sort of funky. This is part of a series I did with my Intes Micro M500 and my DSI Pro.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Violent Whirpool in the Sky...

This galaxy is called M77. It is one of the more unusual objects in the sky. It has an extremely bright core, and puts off an incredible amount of radiation of various types, from radio to x-ray. It is pretty much agreed upon that this galaxy has a very large black hole in it's center, that is actively engaged in cosmic destruction. This galaxy and others like it are known as Seyfert Galaxies, named after the fellow who first identified them.

If you look closely at the image, not only can you see the core and the brighter parts of the arms, but there is a vague disk that extends outward for quite a distance.

Caldwell 48

Not a really showy galaxy, but here is Caldwell 48. There is some confusion as what what it actually is, a spiral or elliptical. Can you tell? This galaxy remains ambiguous even in images from larger scopes.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Eskimo Nebula

The Eskimo Nebula is a small planetary nebula near the constellation Gemini. It is easily visible in a telescope, but is very small. I imaged it in this shot with my DSI Pro and Cyan/Magenta/Yellow filters. I did it through my Intes-Micro M500 with an F5 focal reducer. If you look closely in the zoomed in image, you can see the eskimo face in the parka for which it is named.

Spiral Galaxy M106 and Company

I shot this image of M106 several nights back. I had a bit of battery trouble with the DSLR that kept me from getting more sub-exposures. It is a composite of 5 - three minute images made with my Canon 300D at ISO 1600. I shot it through my Orion 100mm F6 achro refractor. Focus was off a little, so I had to re-size it to tighten everything up.