Total Solar Eclipse 2017

The Total Solar Eclipse with Earthshine Moon

Here is my Final Master Piece Image showing The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse during Totality in a 5 image HDR, High Dynamic Range.
Blow it full screen and look at the details. also stand back from the Monitor and check it out from a distance too, not just close-up. It looks 3D to me…with the Earth-shine Moon, you can barely see the moons surface features, due to reflected light from Earth, The suns edge with Pink Prominence’s, with Inner Coronal loops and full outer Corona Details. The Brightest star in Leo “Regulus” is in the Upper left of the Frame. This is my best Totality image to date! FCD 100mm Diameter Explore Scientific Triplet APO Refractor (714mm FL), & Canon 6D DSLR, August 21, 2017 The Samford Homestead, Hopkinsville, KY.
My Personal Best Image to Date!

Best Regards,
John Chumack

The Bubble Nebula, Caldwell 11, Sharpless 162

The Bubble Nebula Complex in Cassiopeia

NGC7635 The Bubble Nebula

Certainly my best shot of the Bubble Nebula complex to date!
Lots of detail in this one!
It is an enormous bubble being blown into space by a super-hot massive star!
This was a 10 Hours of exposure through Astronomik 7nm & 6nm Narrow Band data Mapped out to RGB. Captured over 3 nights from my backyard observatory in Dayton. 6″ Celestron Newt.,Coma Corrector, & ZWO 174mm Cooled CMOS Camera, Nebulosity, Pixinsight, & Adobe CS.
NGC 7635, also called the Bubble Nebula, Sharpless 162, or Caldwell 11, is a H II region emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia, The “bubble” is created by the stellar wind from a massive hot, 8.7th magnitude young central star, SAO 20575.
The Bubble is located in front of the HII Emission Region. It is located about 7000 to 11000 light years from Earth.

Saturn & moon Enceladus

Saturn & moon Enceladus

Saturn is nearing Opposition, and is looking good all night long now…So go out and look it low in the South, Saturn is only ~ 21 degrees above my Southern Horizon in Dayton, Ohio, but still looks great in a telescope.

Here is another Shot this time Close-up of Saturn with the (11th magnitude Icy Geyser moon) Enceladus ,captured on 06-09-2017 from my backyard Observatory in Dayton, Ohio.

I used a Televue 5x Barlow & QHY5IIL Cmos Camera attached to my old orange tube C8, testing the magnification limits of my little 8 inch diameter scope.

The exposure times were longer than usual through RGB filters, as Saturn got very dim when magnifying that much with the 5x Barlow.  I can only do this on nights of decent stable seeing, but it was cool to see it fill my screen.

Not bad for being so low on the Horizon and for an object that is 1.275 billion km  or ~ 792 million miles away.

Saturn rises after dark in the South East each night, but is at its highest point in the South by about 2:00am …look for that bright Yellow Star due South.

I hope we get many more stable seeing nights during this Saturn Observing Season!

Best Regards,

John Chumack

Saturn on 06-09-2017

Saturn nearing Opposition

Saturn nearing Opposition…

Seeing was half way decent last night..060917..after 1:00am I captured some close-ups of Saturn near Opposition

…a few more days to Opposition, but you can see the shadow of the Rings on the front of Saturn’s Cloud-tops,

…and also the Shadow of Saturn’s Disk laying across the rings directly behind the top of the disk giving it the “cat ears” look!



CMI=26.9° CMIII=289.0°

When Planetary imaging you have two basic options…shoot with a single shot color Camera, or Shoot with a monochrome(B&W) camera and use a Filter wheel with three primary colors Red, Green, & Blue to combine them later for a full color image.   I happen to prefer the Monochrome & Filter wheel, simply because it is a little better at resolving the finer details, but it is more work than with a single shot color camera.

The Best steady seeing I’ve experienced in a while here in the Midwest, the More stable it is the more details I can pull out of the image, hopefully we get more steady nights like this.

Captured from my backyard observatory in Dayton with my C8 SCT Scope & QHY5IIL monochrome Cmos Camera & 2x Barlow, Astronomik RGB Filters, AS2, Registax6,RGB combined in Maxim DL, & CS2017. 3400 Avi frames with Firecapture.

Saturn Near opposition 06-09-2017

BTW Saturn is rising  low in the Southeast after Dark.  Don’t forget to look at Jupiter high in the South right at Dark too!

Best Regards,

John Chumack

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