Constellations from your backyard

Constellations from my Backyard

The Constellations from my backyard observatory in Dayton, Ohio, looking South this is what I had seen early this morning
before the F$%^&* Clouds rolled in again!!!

For those who are wondering what your seeing in the early morning sky!
Starting on the left.South East .and moving to the top right West-South West!!!

Puppis – The Poop Deck, sailors will know this…too much to explain here…
Wikipedia it for more interesting info.

Canis Major is Orion’s Big Hunting Dog(The Big Dog) & Contains the Brightest Star in the Sky Sirius(The Dog Star), Sirius The Big Dog always follows his master Orion!

Monoceros the Unicorn, fainter stars make up this constellation, but it contains the awesome Rosette Nebula!!! Always just to the left of Orion.

The Constellation of Lepus the Hare, at Orion’s feet

The Constellation of Orion, The Hunter, Two brightest stars are Betelgeuse(Red Giant Star) upper left shoulder, and Rigel (Blue-White Super-Giant Star) his right Knee at Bottom.

The Belt of Orion (3 stars in a row) and the Sword hanging down from his belt contains one of the most Famous and Studied Stellar Nurseries(Star Formation Regions) The Great Orion Nebula!!!!

The Constellation of Taurus the Bull!
Hyades Star Cluster in Taurus (The Horns of the Bull) with Bright Orange Giant (Orange star) Aldebaran. Above the Tree!

Pleiades Star Cluster also in Taurus (The Seven Sisters Cluster) an Awesome sight in Binoculars! M45 Pleiades is in the far upper right of this image.

Canon 6D DSLR, 24mm lens F16,
ISO 6400, 20 second exposure

Best Regards,
John Chumack

Lunar Eclipse Sequence on 10-08-2014

The Blood Moon – Total Lunar Eclipse 10-08-2014

Blood Moon

Total Lunar Eclipse

October 08, 2014

Only during a Full moon can a Total Lunar Eclipse occur. This happens when the Earth’s shadow covers the moon, thus a perfect alignment of the Earth between the Moon and the Sun is needed. When this alignment occurs the moon can become deep red/orange during the totality part of the eclipse. The light from the sun enters earth’s atmosphere and bends around the curvature of the earth scattering all the blue light, but passing the red wavelengths of light which illuminate the moon during lunar totality. This Eclipse was second eclipse of 2014, part of a rare Tetrad,  4 Lunar Eclipses in two years. We will have two more Lunar Eclipses in 2015.

Images captured  at Huffman Dam,  Dayton, Ohio.

Canon 6D & 80mm telescope, ISO 800 to 6400, 1/400 sec to 2 sec exposures, to capture all these eclipse phases.

The moon is the only natural satellite of the Earth and the nearest celestial body in space.
© 2014 John Chumack

Antares & Mars in the Southwestern Sky

Mars & Antares, A Celestial Pairing in the Southwestern sky !

Mars & Antares, A Celestial Pairing in the Southwestern sky !

Go out and look to your Southwest at Dusk to see Planet Mars & Bright Red Giant Star Antares, aka Alpha Scorpio.  You need a low unobstructed view to see them.    They look very similar in color , a red orange. Mars is the one that is  higher in the sky.   They are only up for a short period of time, so go out after sunset, but before it gets dark,  Take a look all weekend between 8:30pm and 9:00pm E.S.T.  I captured this shot on 09-25-2014 above my Observatory Dome in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Canon 6D  DSLR & 75mm lens, F7.1, ISO 6400, 3.2 second exposure

Camera on a tripod.

Best Regards,

John Chumack


Ursa Minor - The Little Dipper & Polaris

Ursa Minor – The Little Dipper

Ursae Minoris – The Little Bear, The Little Dipper

Ursa Minor is Latin for Little Bear, Ursa Minor is a constellation in the northern sky. The tail of the Little Bear may also be seen as the handle of a ladle, hence the name Little Dipper.

It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and remains one of the 88 modern constellations. Ursa Minor is notable as the location of the north celestial pole, although this will change after some centuries due to the precession of the equinoxes.

Polaris, also known as the North Star is the brightest star in the constellation, Polaris is a yellow-white super-giant and brightest Cepheid variable star, ranging from apparent magnitude 1.97 to 2.00.

Beta Ursae Minoris is only slightly fainter, with its apparent magnitude of 2.08.  Also known as Kochab, it is an orange giant star, 16 degrees from Polaris. Kochab and magnitude 3 Gamma Ursae Minoris have been called the ‘guardians of the pole star’.

I have included an illustrated version to I.D. the Stars & magnitudes (brightness), using the Little Dipper as practice you can learn how to judge a Star’s magnitude in the night sky!

Interesting Fact :  Four stellar systems have been discovered to contain planets.

Photo Details:

Ursa Minor – The Little Dipper & Polaris

Canon 6D DSLR & 58mm Lens, F4.0, ISO 1250, CG-4 Tracking Mount, a 48 second exposure captured at John Bryan State Park in Yellow Springs, Ohio on 09-22-2014.

Best Regards,

John Chumack

M42Canon6D_ ChumackLRblog

M42 & M43 The Great Orion Nebula Complex

M42 &M43 The Great Orion Nebula _ A stellar Nursery the closest to Earth. This star birth region is 1, 344 light years away
and is about 24 light years across.
The Orion Nebula is one of the most scrutinized and photographed objects in the night sky!!
My first Test of an Emission Nebula with my unmodified Canon 6D DSLR at the Prime Focus of my Home-built 16″ Diameter F4.5 Newt. telescope.
This is a quick 97 second exposure,
actually two shots layer Masked, to prevent over exposure!  A 7 second exposure for the center Trapezium region and a 90 second exposure for the full nebula is all it took to record this.
ISO was set at 3200. The Canon 6D tends to be a little more Blue/Green sensitive…a little noise in this image at 70F, but it does the trick if you need a quick image before the clouds roll in!!!
Transparency was not the best Friday night…but now I know it is easily capable of recording bright red Emission Nebula quickly!
Pretty impressive & sensitive for an unmodified DSLR.

This was just a test under poor sky conditions, so the next clear night I will go back and do a longer exposure & fully glory shot!

Best Regards,
John Chumack

Waning Cresent Moon on 09-19-2014

Waning Crescent Moon 09-19-2014

The Waning Crescent Moon this Morning…..I saw Jupiter nearby as well!!!
The sky was Crystal Clear & good seeing this morning!!!!! I captured this image with my 10″ @F6.3 SCT from my backyard in Dayton, Canon 6D DSLR, ISO 400, 1/80 second exp.

Best Regards,

John Chumack


The Andromeda Galaxy & Beta Andromeda on 09-13-2014

Super Wide Field of The Great Andromeda Galaxy!

A super Wide Angle View of our Sister Galaxy The Great Andromeda Spiral Galaxy. M31. M32, M110 Testing the Lens out at 105mm.. We are looking through millions of our own Milky Way stars to see another whole Island of Stars(Andromeda Galaxy)off in the distance 2.2 Million light years away!
The Bright Orange Star near Bottom is Mirach aka Beta Andromeda,
just above that is Mu Andromeda, and just below the Galaxy is Nu Andromeda. Surprisingly with the 105mm lens I was able to pick up the Ghost of Mirach, the bright little Elliptical Galaxy NGC-404.

Canon 6D DSLR & 105mm Lens, F5.6, ISO 1600, 247 second exposure.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

Milky Way on 09-13-2014

The Milky Way Galaxy & Summer Triangle

The Milky Way Galaxy through The Summer Triangle.
The incredible Number of Stars is Amazing!
Just a test shot using the Canon 24mm to 105mm set to 24mm F4.5 on my Canon 6D DSLR, for this 90 second exposure, at ISO 3200 taken at My Observatories at John Bryan State Park in Yellow Springs, Ohio on Saturday Night 09-13-2014.

I used my CG-4 Camera Tracking Mount. The 24mm Canon lens is very sharp, and Wide. I can’t believe I got this with all the Local Light Pollution, although it was very transparent last night, So much less ambient back-scatter than Normal!!!…Also caught a Meteor at top left of the Frame too!

Best Regards,
John Chumack

M27 The Dumbbell Nebula- dying Star 08-27-2014

M27 The Dumbell Nebula

M27 – A dying star
The Dumbbell Nebula (also known as Apple Core Nebula, Messier 27, M 27, or NGC-6853) is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula, at a distance of about 1,360 light years.

This object was the first planetary nebula to be discovered; by Charles Messier in 1764. At its brightness of visual magnitude 7.5 and its diameter of about 8 arc-minutes, it is easily visible in binoculars, and a popular observing target in amateur telescopes.

The nebula was formed when an evolved, red giant star ejected its outer envelope near the end of its lifetime. The expanding cloud of gas becomes visible once the hot core of the star, visible near the center, is exposed and the high-energy, ultraviolet light from the core ionizes the cloud.

Unmodified Canon 6D DSLR at the Prime Focus of my Home-Built 16 inch Diameter Newtonian Telescope.
ISO 3200, a single 90 second exposure, at my observatories in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

NGC-253 in Sculptor on 08-28-2014

NGC-253 Spiral Galxy in Sculptor

NGC-253, A Bright Galaxy In The Constellation of Sculptor! This is the first light Test of a Deep Sky Space object using my unmodified Canon 6D. I’m very please with its performance…very Sensitive, clean at the Higher ISO it is great for Comets & Galaxies! This Galaxy sits very low in the south…so I was shooting through some hazy clouds for this shot.
I need to do more testing on Nebula, to see how well it records the Red end of the Spectrum! This was a single 4 minute exposure at ISO 2500, at the prime focus of my home-built 16″ Newt. Scope, taken at my Observatories  in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

NGC-253 is a relatively Nearby Galaxy, located at 11.4 Million Light Years away, it shines at ~ Magnitude 8, so is visible in Binocular from a dark location.

Best Regards,
John Chumack