Sinus Iridum or Bay of Rainbows

Driving across “The Bay of Rainbows”

Sinus Iridum  aka the “Bay of Rainbows” is a plain of basaltic lava in the Northwestern portion of Mare Imbrium on Earth’s moon.
It is surrounded by the rugged Mountain Range known as Montes Jura.

Sinus Iridum was formed from the remains of a large impact crater, which was then flooded with basaltic lava, inundating the “sea” wall.
The Bay of Rainbows spans 236km or 146.64 miles across.

If you were to drive across the Bay of Rainbows at 60mph, (assuming no crater sized potholes, LOL!!) it would take ~ 2 hours and 26 minutes.
Roughly the distance from Dayton, Ohio to Versailles, Kentucky, or Dayton, Ohio to Nashville, Indiana.

This bay and the surrounding mountains is considered one of the most beautiful features on the Moon, and is a favorite among lunar observers.
It is one of the features on the Moon that can be seen with the unaided eye.

C8 Telescope & ZWO ASI 224MC Color Camera, 600 frames stacked in Registax 6, at my backyard observatory in Dayton, OH.

Best Regards,
John Chumack


Jupiter & 3 Moons

Jupiter with 3 moons Europa, Io, & Ganymede, The GRS (Great Red Spot) was getting ready to go around the Limb, the 4th Moon Callisto was way off the field of view!

The Great Red Spot (GRS) is a persistent anticyclonic storm, 22° south of Jupiter’s equator. observations from Earth establish a minimum storm lifetime of 350 years.

The GRS winds speeds top out at about 400mph.. and is 2 to 3 times the size of the Earth!

I tested out the ZWO 224MC single shot color camera on my 8inch SCT to see what it can do, …Seeing was okay at prime focus, but any magnification you could see the Earth’s atmosphere boiling. so will try to Barlow it up on the next night of stable seeing.

Best Regards,

John Chumack

NGC-4565 Edge on SPiral galxy

Caldwell 38 or NGC-4565 Edge on Spiral Galaxy

Caldwell 38 or NGC-4565 Edge on Spiral Galaxy, shining at magnitude 10.4,it is located at 30 to 50 million light years away in the direction of the constellation of Coma Berenices. Nick named the “Needle” Galaxy due its thin edge on profile. It was discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1785.

The central bulge of NGC-4565 is thought to have about 240 globular star clusters hovering around it, far more than our own Milky Way Galaxy.

The really cool thing is that if we were to back away from our own Milky Way galaxy and go about 50 million light years out and then look back we would look similar to this galaxy. The NGC4565 Galaxy is even more luminous that Andromeda, but is about 25 times more distant.

The smaller spiral galaxy to the upper left is NGC-4562, and there are several other little galaxies visible in the background as well.

NGC-4565 Certainly is one of my favorites to look at in my telescopes.

I captured this image from my backyard in the city of Dayton, Ohio with my Celestron 6 inch Newtonian Telescope, & ZWO ASI 174MM Cooled monochrome Cmos Camera with a 2 hour exposure.

Best Regards,

John Chumack

Comet 41P/Tuttle–Giacobini–Kresák

Closest Approach of Comet 41P/Tuttle–Giacobini–Kresák at Magnitude 8.6 in the Constellation of Draco.

Comet 41P is still visible in Binoculars from a dark location, it is heading for Perihelion on the 12th of April.

On April 1st – 2nd, the comet passed by Earth at a distance of about 13 million miles (0.14 astronomical units), or 55 times the distance from Earth to the moon; An unusually closer approach for this Jupiter-family comet. Comets are frozen balls of Ice, Gas, & Dust that start to sublimate when heated by the sunlight as they approach the inner solar system.
The green color is the Comet P41 Spewing C2 Diatomic Carbon which glows green when lit by the sun in the Vacuum of Space!

Here is my shot of Comet 41P as it passed within 13 arc minutes of 4.58 Magnitude Star 10 Draconis, & 4.7 Magnitude Double Star WDS HJ 3342 (WDS = Washington Double star Catalog)

Taken with my Homemade 16 inch Diameter Newtonian Telescope and a Canon 6D DSLR,
20 frames x 30 second exposures (10 minutes) stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, comet Mode.
Captured from 08:26 U.T. to 08:46 U.T. at my Observatories at JBSPO in Yellow Springs, Ohio
Yellow Springs Research Station, MPC #H66

Best Regards,
John Chumack

The Draco Galaxy Triplet,

Draco Galaxy Triplet!

The Draco Galaxy Triplet, 100 Million Light Years Away in the Constellation of Draco!
If you explore the wide field image you will see several other distant NGC & PGC galaxies.
The Draco Triplet from Top to bottom are NGC-5985 Seyfert type Face on Spiral Galaxy, NGC-5982 Elliptical Galaxy, & NGC-5981 Edge on Spiral Galaxy.
5.5 inch Newt. Scope & Modified Canon Rebel Xsi, ISO 1600, 24 x 5 minute subs stacked = 2 hour exposure total.

Captured at the Okie-Tex Star Party near Kenton, Oklahoma on 09-27-2016.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

Jupiter near Spica in Virgo!

Take a look at the Planet Jupiter above Spica…Jupiter is the Brightest point of light in this image, shining at -2.0 magnitude.

If you look due South at 6:30am to 7:00am over the next few weeks you will see The Planet Jupiter above the Brightest Star in Virgo – Spica.

Over the next few months the pair stay nearby each other.  This can be easily seen, even in the city., so go take a look!

It was so nice to See Jupiter near Spica in Virgo early this morning (12-27-2016) looking due South over my neighborhood in Dayton, Ohio. Visible are the Constellations of Virgo, Libra, Corvus, & Crater.

I was pleasantly surprised at how transparently clear it was all the way to the southern Horizon this morning.  I could see a couple of the Stars in the Southern constellation of Centaurus, usually they are buried in the Light pollution & muck on the Horizon, but were clearly visible.

I also included an illustrated version to help you ID the Planet Jupiter along with the constellations and their brighter stars.

Canon 6D,(Full Frame) 24mm Lens , F4, ISO 1250, 3.2 second exp., on a tripod.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

Andromeda & Triangulum

Andromeda & Triangulum

Andromeda & Triangulum Constellations with Spirals!  We are looking through all those Milky Way Stars to see our nearby sister Galaxies in the background.
The Milky Way’s Sister Galaxies M31 Andromeda Spiral Galaxy & M33 Spiral Galaxy in Triangulum, also visible are NGC752 Open Cluster, & M34 Open Cluster, on The far left edge in Cassiopeia are the Double Clusters & NGC-281 Pacman Nebula in Cassiopeia. Included is my Illustrated version to help you identify what is in the FOV.

Canon 6D DSLR & 47mm lens,F4.5, 20 minute exposure, Star Adventurer Tracking Mount.
Kenton, Oklahoma at the Okie-Tex Star Party on 09-26-2016.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

M57 The Ring Nebula in Lyra


M57 The Ring Nebula in Lyra.

The nebula disk has an angular size of 1.5 × 1 arc-minutes, making it too small to be resolved with 10×50 binoculars, so it is best
viewed with a telescope and under some magnification. I find that 100x works well..

M57 is an example of the class of planetary nebulae known as bipolar nebulae.  The star at the Center is Blowing off its Outer atmosphere!

This will be the fate of our Sun in a few billion more years.

I processed this image to show structure in the nebula…
Taken from my backyard in Dayton, Ohio with my old C8 telescope & ZWO 174mm Monochrome Camera shot through RGB filters + Luminance channel,
16 minutes exposure total.

Best Regards,
John Chumack


Helix Nebula

“The Eye of God” Nebula – The Helix Nebula in Aquarius

The “Eye of God” a wide field shot!
The Helix Nebula, aka ” The Eye of God” also known as The Helix, or NGC 7293, is a large planetary nebula (PN) located in the constellation Aquarius.
Discovered by Karl Ludwig Harding, likely before 1824, this object is one of the closest to the Earth of all the bright planetary nebulae.
This is a dying star blowing off its outer atmosphere!
Based on recent measured expansion rates this Planetary Nebula is about 10,600 years old.
The central star is destined to become a white dwarf.
The estimated distance is about 215 parsecs (700 light-years). It is similar in appearance to the Cat’s Eye Nebula and the Ring Nebula, whose size,
age, and physical characteristics are similar to the Dumbbell Nebula, varying only in its relative proximity and the appearance from the equatorial
viewing angle.
Baader Modified Canon Rebel Xsi & 5.5 inch Newtonian Reflector, ISO 1600, for a 180 minute(3 hour)exposure, 45 x 4 minute subs.
Calibrated & Stacked in “Nebulosity”, Processed in Maxim DL & PS Camera Raw 2015..
it’s not too bad for a 5.5″ scope and sitting so low on the Horizon for us in Ohio.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

The Sagittarius Teapot & Spoon

The Constellation of Sagittarius, The Teapot & Spoon near the Galactic Center of our Milky Way Galaxy…also visible above the Teapot is M22, M25, M8, M20, & M7 on the Right edge. i kept the exposure short, so I wouldn’t blur the house too much while tracking.  The Teapot Pattern is to the right of the Beach House, and the Spoon is Above the House.

The dotted line at the bottom is an aircraft flying over the ocean.
Captured above the beach house on Cape Cod, MA.
Canon 6D DSLR, 50mm lens, ISO3200, 60 second exposure, Star Adventurer tracking mount, with wedge.

Best Regards,
John Chumack