NGC 147/DDO3/Caldwell 17

NGC 147 is a dwarf spheroidal galaxy in the constellation Cassiopeia at about 2.58 million light-years away. NGC 147 is part of our local group of galaxies, and is another satellite galaxy to M31 (like the two close galaxies M32, and M110 which can usually be seen in shots of Andromeda). This galaxy is close-by to NGC 185, a dwarf spheroidal galaxy. It was discovered by John Herschel in 1829 during the month of September, and he noticed that NGC 147 was fainter and slightly larger than its neighbor, NGC 185.

Location of NGC 147 in Cassiopeia

Location of NGC 147 in Cassiopeia

Through the eyepiece in my light polluted yard I was unable to see this 10.4 magnitude galaxy either due to its size, or brightness, or due to the light pollution washing out the dimmer deep space objects.

NGC 147/DDO3/Caldwell 17 taken September 26/27, 2014

NGC 147 taken on the night of September 26, 2014 into the morning of the 27th. This image consists of 18 images at 300 seconds each, 32 dark frames, and 32 flat frames.

Equipment:
Omni XLT 150
CG-5 Advanced Series Go-to
PHD Autoguiding
Orion Starshoot Autoguider
Modified Canon 350D

NGC 7023 – The Iris Nebula

In the constellation of Cepheus during the fall months you can find NGC 7023. The Iris Nebula is a large reflection nebula with an apparent magnitude of 6.8. This nebula is lit by the bright star SAO 19158 at a magnitude of 7. It lies in the Milky Way about 1300 light years away from our solar system, and has a radius of 3 light years making it 6 light years across.

Location of NGC 7023

Location of NGC 7023

Through the eyepiece of my 6” telescope from my light polluted skies this nebula was not visible. Upon further magnification of the central star it started to appear a bit fuzzy. In the field of view there was the one bright central star and multiple dim stars scattered lightly through the field.

NGC 7023 taken on 07-18-14

Taken on the night of July 18, 2014. This image consists of 22 images at 300 seconds each, 17 flat frames, and 18 dark frames. Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and post processing done in Photoshop.

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

NGC 281 – The Pacman Nebula

Within the constellation Cassiopeia at a distance of 9,200 light years from earth is NGC 281. This nebula is in the Perseus arm of our Milky Way galaxy and includes the star cluster IC 1590 which is formed from around 279 individual stars in and about the cluster. Due to the darker nebulous regions of the cluster it has been dubbed the Pacman Nebula after the video game character. Discovered in 1883 by E. E. Barnard who described it as a “large faint nebula.”

Location of NGC 281 in Cassiopeia.

Location of NGC 281 in Cassiopeia.

In a clear dark sky you should be able to spot this nebula with an amateur telescope. From my backyard I couldn’t make out the nebula no matter how dark adapted my eyes were.

NGC 281 – The Pacman Nebula 08-01-2014

This image of composed of 23@300 second light frames, 13 flat frames, and 25 dark frames. Stacking done in deep sky stacker and post processing done in Photoshop.

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

IC 5070 – The Pelican Nebula

IC 5070 lies closely to the nebula NGC 7000 in the constellation, Cygnus. This large emission nebula looks like a pelican to some viewers which gives it its name, The Pelican Nebula. The Pelican lies close to the star Deneb, about 1800 light years from our solar system, and the dark space splitting IC 5070 and NGC 7000 is actually a dark nebula. The Pelican Nebula is an active star forming region that is highly studied due to it’s evolving gas clouds.

This nebula has an apparent magnitude of 8.0, but due to its large size it was not visible in my telescope from my back yard. I had to use the camera to try to center it the best I could for imaging.

IC 5070 – The Pelican Nebula 06-27-2014

This is 17 images at 5 minutes a piece, 22 dark frames, 22 flat frames, and 22 bias frames. Stacked in deep sky stacker and post processing in Photoshop. I personally don’t see a pelican in this nebula whether it’s my picture or one of the others out there online, but either way this is a huge and beautiful nebula.

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

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.