Okay, here is a little something for all you Moon Lovers out there!!!
The Thin Waxing Crescent Moon with Earth-shine and the Star above the Moon is 5th magnitude star 110 Omicron Piscium, the moon was moving through the Constellation of Pisces just before setting below the Mountain top on 03-21-2015, Sorry Mars had already set by the time I grabbed this shot..Earth-shine is the normally unlit portion of the moon, in this case Earth is reflecting light and illuminating the backside or non Sunlit portion of the Moon, you can even make out the Maria or Features on the Earth-shine portion of the Moon.
Canon 6D DSLR & 60 to 300mm lens set to 225mm, 1 second exp. Chena Hot Springs Alaska
Okay first Night we had snow, but the second night it cleared off and -24F!!!, a bit brutal!
We were treated to a very Nice Kp-3 Aurora Display outside of Fairbanks Alaska! We experience 6 + hours of colors, some purples & Greens, and occasional streamer of red, over the freshly snow covered trees. here is one of my shots as the Aurora Display erupted over our newly scouted location!!! It was a grueling treacherous drive on ice & snow covered roads for an hour, with our 4×4 was no problem, it was worth the drive, the new site is Pristine & Fantastic, some very nice views!!!
Can’t wait for our 2015 participants to Arrive today, as more activity is in the Forecast all week! They will be amazed!!!
Is the Aurora Borealis-Northern Lights on your Bucket List?
Would you like to Join us in March 2016?
You can sign up for our 2016 Photo Tour/Workshop, click the Galactic Trips link on my website!!!
Oh BTW, Canon 6D DSLR and 24mm F1.4 Lens, 14mm F2.8 lens, & 8mm Fish-eye Lens, typically set all at F2 to F2.8, and ISO 2000 to 3200, for 5 seconds to 10 second exposures!
Yes!!! Solar Activity, Just what I needed, a Sea Turtle head or a #3 on the Sun!
Here is my shot of the Sun on 03-08-2015 a close-up of Erupting Sunspot 2297…I captured it from my backyard Observatory in Dayton, Ohio with my Lunt 60mm/50F HA scope & QHY5IIL CCD Camera.
Emerging sunspot AR2297 has erupted again, producing its strongest flare yet: an M9-class explosion on March 7th at 22:22 UT. According to NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, it captured the extreme ultraviolet flash: and It ionized Earth’s Upper atmosphere causing radio Blackouts!!! I hope it keeps erupting for the next few weeks, as I will be in Alaska the rest of the Month for our Annual Aurora Photo Tour/Workshop!!!!
Into the Heart of the Beast! Ever wonder what is deep inside the bright Core of M31 The Andromeda Galaxy?
Here is my attempt to image past the overwhelming bright central glow of the Galaxy & to peak into the core to see all those dusty lanes, stars, & gas Spiraling into the central 100 million solar mass Black Hole.
The double nucleus, recently discovered by Hubble, was found not to be two black holes as some first speculated. The double nucleus is actually an elliptical ring of old reddish stars in orbit around the black hole,
When the stars are at the farthest point in their orbit they move slower, like cars piled up on a crowded freeway. This gives the illusion of a second nucleus.
I took 60 minutes worth of various short exposures ranging from 5 seconds to 2 minutes and layered them in Adobe to cut through the bright light to try to see the details in the core. I’ve been working on this on and off since Sept of 2014, and finally finished the processing last weekend.
M31 is Our Sister Galaxy, Closest spiral to us at 2.5 Million Light years away & contains over 1 trillion stars. M31 Andromeda is visible to the unaided eye from a dark location. M31 The Andromeda Galaxy and our Milky Way Galaxy
will experience a Galactic Collision in about 4 billion years.
Attached is an Image I captured with a QHY8 cooled Color CCD camera, and my Home-built 16″diameter Newtonian telescope, from my observatories at JBSPO in Yellow Springs, Ohio 09/19/2014.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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)