Hubble's Variable Nebula 0n 10-26-2014

NGC-2261 Hubble’s Variable Nebula

Although it may look like one, NGC-2261  is NOT a comet!!!!…. it is a very interesting and quite a different object! Here is my close-up photo of this cool object!

NGC 2261 (also known as Hubble’s Variable Nebula or Caldwell 46) is a variable nebula located in the constellation Monoceros. It is illuminated by the star R Monocerotis (R Mon), which is not directly visible itself.

NGC 2261 was originally imaged as Palomar Observatory’s Hale Telescope’s first light by Edwin Hubble on January 26, 1949.  Edwin Hubble studied this nebula at several other Observatories(Yerkes & Mount Wilson) as well….it is variable, changing in brightness and the dust clouds are occasionally blocking the light from R Monocerotis changing the appearance of the triangular shaped light you see in as little time as hours to as much as several weeks or even months.

It shines at about 9th magnitude in the constellation of Monoceros (The Unicorn) just East of Orion.  NGC2261 Hubble’s Variable Nebula is about 2,500 Light Years Away. You can just make out some the Variable dust clouds in this image.

This is a single 5 minute exposure at ISO 3200 with my Canon 6D DSLR, and my Homebuilt 16” diameter telescope from my observatories at JBSPO in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Best Regards,

John Chumack

Jupiter with moon Callisto on 11-18-14 @ 11:30 U.T.

Jupiter & moon Callisto

Jupiter & Callisto on 11-18-2014…@ 11:30 U.T.
After De-icing the Observatory Dome last evening,..I was hoping the Dome shutter would stay free of ice and snow through morning…and Yeah it did!! Here is Jupiter early this morning! I put on my Arctic -40F Gear this morning to take a crack at Jupiter and its Moon Callisto, the other moons were out of the FOV. The Great Red Spot (GRS) is a persistent anticyclonic storm, 22° south of Jupiter’s equator; observations from Earth establish a minimum storm lifetime between 300 and 400 years. You can see the Great Red Spot(a 400+ mile per hour storm) heading out around the Western Limb.(lower right). The Great Red Spot has been visible on the planet since the Invention of the telescope..over 400 years!

But it never fails, clouds started to plague me right after I got aligned and ready to image around 5:30am, so extreme patience in the brutal cold was the key! Finally got a clear spot long enough to snap off this RGB set around 6:30am!

Captured with the QHY5IIL Mono CCD camera, Optec Intelligent Filter wheel, Astronomiks RGB filters, 2x Barlow, & 10″ SCT scope. Total of 3588 RGB AVI frames stacked in Registax 6. Captured from my backyard observatory in Dayton at 6:30am this morning. BRRRRRR!!!

Best Regards,
John Chumack

Lunar Impact  Crater Clavius & Lunar Highlands on 11-02-2014

The Lunar Edge – The Southern Highlands

On the Lunar Edge!

Edge of the Southern Lunar Highlands,
Clavius Crater at Bottom…
One of my Sharpest Southern Highlands shots to date!
Craterlets galore! Zoom in a bit to see the tiny craterlets!

The Southern Highlands terrain has many craters larger than 45 km in diameter.
Back in the 1970’s counts have been made of small (km sized) crater
number densities in limited areas of the southern lunar highlands,
in order to investigate the nature of the anomaly for large craters in this area. The anomaly is found to be detectable in this size range also,
supporting the hypothesis of it being of a cometary impact origin.

Lunar Highlands are very different from Maria in more ways than visually obvious.
Radioactive dating of lunar samples of both types of surface tell the same tale as the cratering record: rocks from the highlands are mostly around 4 billion years old, with the oldest being about 4.4 billion years, while maria rocks date
from 3.1 to 3.8 billion years old, about the same as the oldest terrestrial (Earth) rocks.

Captured from my backyard in Dayton on 11-02-2014
QHY5IIL Camera, Prime @ F6.3, 10″ SCT scope
5.6 ms exposures/15 FPS Full Res 1280×960 (3.7micron Pixels)
Best 65% of 600 frames Stacked in Registax 6.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

Lunar Impact Crater Tycho & Clavius on 11-02-2014

Impact Craters Tycho & Clavius

COLO has been busy!!!
The Chumack Observatory Lunar Orbiter…LOL!!! Okay not really an orbiter, but I can get very close-up detailed shots!
My backyard Observatory has made another pass over the Lunar Terrain, this time closing in on Tycho & Clavius (multiple impacts within the crater itself)!!!
I’m always looking for nights were I can improve on the resolution from the previous shots!
This week I will be posting some of my Sharpest images of the Lunar surface taken just this past Sunday evening from my backyard observatory in Dayton, Ohio!!!
Dodging Contrails and High Cirrus clouds…shooting in the clear spots.
Lunar Impact Crater Tycho & Clavius on 11-02-2014 @18:56.21 E.S.T.
QHY5IIL Camera, Prime @ F6.3, 10″ SCT scope
5.6 ms exposures/15 FPS Full res 1280×960 (3.7micron Pixels)
Best 65% of 400 frames Stacked in Registax 6.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

NGC-1973, NGC-1975, NGC-1977  0n 10-26-2014

NGC-1973-75-77 Reflection Nebula Complex

NGC-1973, NGC-1975, NGC-1977 Reflection Nebula Complex,
Nicknamed the Running Man Nebula,
It is located ~ 1460 light years away in the Constellation of Orion.

The Cloud is complex as there is a Red Emission region directly behind the dominant Blue Reflection Nebula,
the Nebula is reflecting Light from these young hot blue stars.
The region is abound with gas & dust clouds…NGC1973-75-77 is located 30 arc-minutes north of M42/M43 The Great Orion Nebula
NGC-1973, NGC-1975, NGC-1977 are the designations given for the 3 main parts of the Reflection nebula.

I captured this image on 10-26-2014 from my observatories at JBSPO in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Canon 6 D DSLR & Home-built 16″ F4.5 Newt scope,
ISO 3200, for a 32 minute exposure, 8 x 240 second subs)

Best Regards,
John Chumack

M42 & M43 The Great Orion Nebula0n 10-26-2014

M42 & M43 The Great Orion Nebula Complex

M42 & M43 The Great Orion Nebula, an Awesome Stellar Nursery – Star Formation Region!  One of the most amazing objects to see through a telescope!  Who would like to explore this gaseous Cloud with me???
I pulled an all-nighter at my observatory using my Canon 6D DSLR attached to my 16″ scope ..and took lots of Data on many objects.
I’ll be processing images for weeks to come, but this one of M42/M43 in Orion was a two exposures stacked, one at 4 minutes for the outer regions and 1 at 30 seconds for the trapezium region.   ISO-3200, 10-26-2014 3:06am
and still working out my coma corrector configuration, also still a tad bit of vignette near corners with the large chip for this setup, but
I was amazed at what my new Unmodified Full Frame Canon 6D pulled out in less than 5 minutes through my Home-built 16″ Diameter F4.5 Fork Mounted Newt. Telescope. The camera seems to be more green blue sensitive than others, yet still able to record the red nebula regions well, and at higher ISO seems a lot cleaner (less noise) than previous DSLRs.
Although it did take me about 4 hours to carefully process it though!! Thanks to my winning the National Science Foundation/Discover Magazine/Astronomy Mag’s International Comet ISON Photo Contest, with the 1st place Award money I was able to buy this new camera a bit sooner than I had thought! ..Now I’m looking forward to many more quick and painless captures of the sky!Best Regards,
John Chumack

A Sunspot Larger than Jupiter

A Gigantic Sunspot Group

Here is a Gigantic sized Sunspot,  as large as Jupiter.

I captured this image yesterday before the Partial Eclipse and clouds rolled in.

The Massive Sunspot AR2192  is now facing the Earth, here it is on 10-23-2014

According to NASA’s Space Weather…
Solar activity is very high. Since the beginning of the week, giant sunspot AR2192 has produced no less than 27 C-class solar flares, 9 M-class flares, and 2 X-flares.

Canon 6D DSLR & 6inch diameter Cave Astrola Newtonian telescope, Baader Solar Filter, ISO 400, 1/2000 sec from my backyard Observatory in Dayton, Ohio.

Best Regards,

John Chumack

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