Tuesday, September 16, 2008

M33 Triangulum Galaxy

This galaxy is a big one, located in the constellation of Triangulum. It is visible in binoculars as a hazy round patch about the size of the full moon. It is next to impossible to see in a telescope, unless it is a wide field type. I don't remember all the stats for this image, just that it was taken through my 100mm F6 achro refractor with my Canon 300D DSLR. It was 1600 ISO with 8 minute sub-exposures. Probably around 8-10 frames were stacked for this image, I can't remember.

This galaxy is sometimes called the Pinwheel.

Jupiter with the MN66

I have been vacillating recently over possibly selling the Mak-Newt MN66, and buying a smaller Apo refractor. The MN66 tends to get bounced around by the wind, and ruins more images than it captures. It is very frustrating. I decided to use it tonight for what the scope is famous for, planetary images. The full moon would make deep sky imaging a pain anyway. Time for a break.

I am glad I did. I have not really used this scope much for planets, but that may be changing. This thing is absolutely razor sharp. This image of Jupiter is almost exactly what the eye sees, during periods of clear viewing. Three moons are also visible.

My image does show a bit of atmospheric refraction (the red/blue on the edges of the planet), but this is due to Jupiter's low position in the sky. It has nothing to do with the optics.

I guess the little MN66 stays for a while longer.

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Very Full M31

This is one of the better M31 images I have taken. It is 6 ten minute images at ISO 800 taken with my Orion 100mm F6 refractor and my Canon 300D DSLR.

The big spiral galaxy, M31, also known as the Andromeda Galaxy, is our closest major intergalactic neighbor. It is speculated that it is on a collision course with our galaxy, to occur billions of years from now. The two smaller elliptical galaxies are M110 and M32. They orbit around their larger brother M31.

M31 can be spotted by the naked eye very easily, but the sky must be reasonably dark. It is a large hazy patch about the same size as the full moon. This galaxy is located near the square of the constellation Pegasus.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Iris Nebula

This is a relatively obscure nebula, but can be seen in a scope as small as 80mm if you know what to look for. NGC 7023 or the Iris Nebula, as it is commonly called, is a hot blue star surrounded by a dusty dark nebula cloud. The star peeks out at us through a hole in this cloud, giving this deep sky object a unique appearance.

This image is 7 ten minute exposures taken with my 300D through my Orion 100mm F6 achro refractor. All shot at ISO 800. It could use some more exposure time, but my battery died and so far the weather has not cooperated.

A Wide View of the Eagle Nebula

The Eagle Nebula, also known as Messier 16, is a dusty star forming region nestled in the summer Milky Way. It is a large cloud of interstellar dust coalescing into stars, of which the main portion resembles an eagle in flight at first glance. If you look closely, you may just make it out.

I took this through my Orion 100mm F6 achromatic refractor using my Canon 300D DSLR. It is a composite of 4 ten minute sub-exposures at ISO 800.