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 & 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

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

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