55% Moon in Daylight July 05, 2014

During the daylight hours I was attempting to get images of the moon since I had the scope still setup and aligned from the night before. My backyard is absolutely filled with trees and my view to the south is about 1%, and that’s between leaves. I was able to get a quick snap of the moon as I watched with my eye up against the cameras eyepiece, snapping pictures as the wind would move the branches of the trees. I took at least 30 shots in the course of an hour, but only one was clear enough to use.

55% Moon from July 05, 2014

Some of the craters along the terminator are Plato, Montes Caucasus, Aristillus, Montes Alpes, Ptolemaeus, Arzachel, Purbach, Tycho, Maginus, and Clavius.

Solar Image July 06, 2014

Today the sun was quite the treat to look at, and it was my first solar observation of 2014. The sun had a whole host of sunspots on it; 2111, 2106, 2102, 2100, 2109, 2108, 2110, 2107, 2104, and 2112.

Solar Image of July 06, 2014 with sunspots: 2111, 2106, 2102, 2100, 2109, 2108, 2110, 2107, 2104, and 2112.

NGC 6992 – The Eastern Veil Nebula

The brightest portion of the Easter Veil Nebula is the region of NGC 6992. This is just a small section of the entire Cygnus Loop. The Cygnus Loop consists of the Western Veil , Eastern Veil, and Pickering’s Triangle. Discovered on September 5, 1784 by William Herschel, he described the western end as ex extending through the star 52 Cygni and roughly 2 degrees in length. He also described the eastern veil as branching nebulosity stringing and coming together towards the southern end. This nebula is large, but relatively faint, and it is a supernova remnant. The source of the supernova is estimated between 5,000 and 8,000 years ago. The entire Cygnus Loop covers and area of 3 degrees in diameter with an estimated distance of 1,470 light years from Earth. Analysis by the Hubble Space Telescope indicate the presence of oxygen, sulfur, and hydrogen.

Location of the Eastern Veil Nebula

Location of the Eastern Veil Nebula

Through the eyepiece I couldn’t see the nebula, and even a 2 minute photo it was very faint and hard to spot. The 5 minute images brought out more of the nebula and showed hints of the blues tucked into the red. Maybe the ¾ moon played a roll in washing it out so it was hard to see in the eyepiece.

Eastern Veil Nebula taken June 08, 2014

This image is 18 shots at 5 minutes each ISO 800. 33 Flat frames, and 20 dark frames. Stacked in deep sky stacker and post processing in Photoshop.

Equipment:
Omni XLT 150
CG-5 Advanced Series Go-To
PHD autoguiding
Orion Starshoot autoguider
Modified Canon 350D

M13 – The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

Messier object 13 is a large globular cluster in the constellation, Hercules. It is one of the most prominent globular clusters in the Northern celestial hemisphere. Discovered by Edmond Halley in 1714 who observed that the cluster can be seen with the unaided eye in dark enough conditions (back then, that meant without a large moon washing out the sky, not so much city lights). Charles Messier cataloged M13 on June 1, 1764. It lies approximately 25,100 light years away from Earth with a diameter of 20′ (20 arcminutes) or 145 light years visually. There are several hundreds of thousands of stars in the cluster where most of them are highly concentrated in the core of the cluster.

Location of M13 in Hercules.

Location of M13 in Hercules.

With the unaided eye in a clear dark location you can easily spot the faint fuzzy look of M13 in Hercules. With binoculars or a small telescope the core becomes quite prominent, and with a larger scope still you can begin to focus some of the stars away from the dense core. Excellent object for any beginner to look at and is relatively easily to find.

M13 – The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules taken in the early hours of June 8, 2014.

This image is 13 images at 5 minutes and 24 images at 2 minutes for a total of 2.8 hours, all images taken at ISO 800. 33 flat frames, and 44 dark frames. Stacked in deep sky stacker and post processing in photoshop. I did the two exposures as separate stacks and combined them in Photoshop. I was attempting to bring out some detail in the core with the shorter exposures while trying to get the dimmer outer stars of the cluster using the longer exposures. Didn’t quite work the way as planned, but I’m still pleased with the final restuls.

Equipment:
Omni XLT 150
CG-5 Advanced Series Go-To
PHD autoguiding
Orion Starshoot autoguider
Modified Canon 350D

IC 405 – Flaming Star Nebula

IC405, also known as the Flaming Star Nebula in the constellation Auriga. This nebula is an emission/reflection nebula which seems to surround the bright star AE Aurigae which shines at a magnitude of 6.0. AE Aurigae is an irregular varriable star. IC 405 lies about 1500 light-years away and a width of 5 light-years across. The central star can be traced back to the Orion’s belt area.

IC 405 Location in Auriga

IC 405 Location in Auriga

This nebula was not visible through the eyepiece of the telescope, and was only showing in some of it’s brighter areas in the 5 minute images.

IC 405 images on the nights of March 3, 5, and 6, 2014

Taken on the nights of March 3, 5, and 6, 2014. A total of 90 images stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and post processing in Photoshop. This was my first multiple night imaging session, and only my second imaging session with my new CG-5 mount with PHD guiding. Each image is a 5 minute exposure at ISO 800. I need a bit more practice with my image acquisitions over a course of many nights, but for my first attempt this wasn’t too bad.