25 Mar 2013

CTB1, Supernova remnant

This really faint object is also known as Abell 85 or as SNR G116.9+00.1. It's located in constellation Cassiopeia. (Ra 23:58:53.5 Dec +62:30:28)

Abell 85 is an large, filamentary supernova remnant with shell-like structure similar to Cygnus Loop. Unlike the Cygnus Loop, the majority of CTB1's optical light emission is in the HII spectrum, with only a small component of OIII emission. (deepskypedia)

This is a frustrating target!! Extremely faint and now located low in the Norhern sky. I have plans to continue with this one but the next possible time is in late August when it's dark again and this will be higher in the sky.

Here's 7h 30min of Hydrogen-alpha taken with 30min subs.

23 Mar 2013

PK 164+31.1

Jones-Emberson 1 (PK 164+31.1) is a 14th magnitude planetary nebula in the constellation Lynx at a distance of 1600 light years. It is a larger planetary with low surface brightness. The 16.8-magnitude central star is very blue white dwarf.

Here's 8h 50min of exposure with HaLRGB. There's only 1h 40min of luminance so the background galaxies is not quite well visible. But I think I'm done with this one...

Full size in Astrobin.

22 Mar 2013


Another open cluster taken to fill the empty gap between main targets...

Open Cluster M36 (also known as Messier Object 36, Messier 36, M36, or NGC 1960) is an open cluster in the Auriga constellation. It was discovered by Giovanni Batista Hodierna before 1654. M36 is at a distance of about 4,100 light years away from Earth and is about 14 light years across. There are at least sixty members in the cluster. (wikipedia)

This cluster has a size of 12 arcmin and magnitude of 6.3.

Here's 2 hours total exposure of RGB (RG=6*300" and B=12*300").

17 Mar 2013

Polar ring galaxy NGC2685 Finalized

A polar-ring galaxy is a type of galaxy in which an outer ring of gas and stars rotates over the poles of the galaxy. These polar rings are thought to form when two galaxies gravitationally interact with each other. One possibility is that a material is tidally stripped from a passing galaxy to produce the polar ring seen in the polar-ring galaxy. The other possibility is that a smaller galaxy collides orthogonally with the plane of rotation of the larger galaxy, with the smaller galaxy effectively forming the polar-ring structure. (wikipedia)

This is my version of this mag 11.2 object (4.6*2.5 arcmin)

I'm not totally happy with the colors (or lack of them) so I may reprocess this later.

Total exposure is 10h 40min:
                                              L    = 25*1200"
                                              RG = 8*300"
                                              B    = 8*450"

And here's 100% crop of the galaxy.

Bigger one again in Astrobin

16 Mar 2013

NGC2403 L(HaR)GB

NGC 2403 (also Caldwell 7) is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Camelopardalis. NGC 2403 is an outlying member of the M81 Group, and is approximately 8 million light-years distant. It bears a striking similarity to M33, being about 50,000 light years in diameter and containing numerous star-forming H II regions. The northern spiral arm connects it to nearby galaxy NGC 2404. (wikipedia)

Galaxy has a size of 21.9*12.3 arcmin and magnitude of 8.9.

Total exposure is 7h 15min:
                      L    =   13*1200"
                      GB =   8*300"
                      R    =   7*300"
                      Ha  =   3*1200"

IC342, The Hidden Galaxy L(HaR)GB

IC 342 (also known as Caldwell 5) is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Camelopardalis. The galaxy is near the galactic equator where dust obscuration makes it a difficult object for both amateur and professional astronomers to observe, though it can readily be detected even with binoculars. The dust of the Milky Way makes it difficult to determine the precise distance; modern estimates range from about 7 Mly to about 11 Mly.

IC 342 is one of the brightest two galaxies in the IC 342/Maffei Group of galaxies, one of the galaxy groups that is closest to the Local Group. The galaxy was discovered by William Frederick Denning in 1895. Edwin Hubble first thought it to be in the Local Group, but later it was demonstrated that the galaxy is outside the Local Group. (wikipedia)

This galaxy has a size of 21.4*20.9 arcmin with a magnitude of 9.1.

Here's my finalized version of it.

Total exposure: 8h 10 min
                          L   = 4h20min (13 * 1200")
                          Ha = 2h (6*1200")
                          RG = 30 min (6*300")
                          B   = 50 min (10*300")

14 Mar 2013

M103 finalized

Here's the final version of the Messier 103. The open cluster is located in constellation Cassiopeia with a magnitude of 7.4.

This open cluster was discovered in 1781 by Charles Messier's friend and collaborator Pierre Mechain. It's one of the most distant open clusters, with distances of 8000 and 9500 light years from the earth and ranging about 15 light years apart. (wikipedia)

Here's RGB image with 20:20:40 minutes of exposure.

Full size in Astrobin

12 Mar 2013


And one more project to continue, Polar ring galaxy NGC2685.

IC342, the hidden galaxy

This is one of my on-going projetcs with a 3h 50min of exposure. I've planned to shoot some 3-4 hrs more so I'll continue with this one later.

Full size (>5MB) available on Astrobin.

10 Mar 2013


I took a quick 1 hour picture of this open cluster.

Here's RGB image with 4*300s exposure for each color binned 1*1.

SH2-207 and SH2-208

This was one of my last day targets!

Here's two sharpless objects, SH2-207 is the bigger one and SH2-208 is the smaller one. There's also a lot of very dim nebulosity aroud these two.

Here's 11.5 hrs of exposure with Ha (20*1800 sec) and RGB (10*180 sec each binned 2*2).


I've shot 2-3 targets per night for last few clear nights. Everything has worked just perfectly so I've been able to sit down and relax...

One of these targets was spiral galaxy ngc2403 in constellation Camelopardalis. It is an outlying member of the M81 and is approximately 8 million light-years distant with the size of 21.9*12.3 arcmin and magnitude of 8.9.
This image has total exposure of 6h 5min (L=13*1200sec, R=7*300sec, B=8*300sec and G=8*300sec). Luminance binned 1*1 and colors 2*2.

7 Mar 2013

14" Newtonian

This was about a year long project from first orders to first light!

So here's my "home build" 14" Newtonian inside the observatory. There's not too much extra room but it fits in perfectly.

This is combination of parts from several manufacturer's and a home made carbon fiber tube.

Here's some specifications:
Primary mirror:                  Oldham Optical, 14" (355mm) with PV 1/10λ and strehl 0.97
Secondary mirror:              Oldham Optical, 4.7" (120mm) 
Focal ratio:                        f/4.8 (focal length 1700mm)
Primary mirror cell:            Orion Optics U.K
Secondary spider:               Protostar, 4-vane heavy-duty with anti-dew heater
Focuser:                            Orion Optics U.K, 3" Crayford with 10:1 reduction (+RoboFocus)
Field corrector:                  Orion Optics U.K, 3" CFF (corrected field flattener)
Tube inside diameter:         400mm
Tube length:                       about 1600mm
Weight:                             about 30kg (without camera)

And here's a detailed picture of the camera. As you can see I didn't pay too much of attention for finalizing the tube. And I needed to add a steel plate (~3kg) under the Robofocus to balance it better (to fit it inside the observatory). The adhesive tape is used only for blocking the possible scattered light. Sbig RGH (remote guide head) is used for guiding.

6 Mar 2013

M76 Final, first light of my 14" Astrograph

I got few hours more of Hydrogen alpha so I think this is now final version of this. Even though there's only 5.5 hours of exposure here (3*1800 + 10*900 sec of Ha and 6*900sec OIII).

This is now a formal first light of my new imaging scope, 14" Newtonian Astrograph. I'll post more of this soon!

Here's "natural" color version (HaOIIIOIII):

A 100% crop of bicolor (HaOIII):

And a 200% crop of HAOIIIOIII:

1 Mar 2013

M76, Little Dumbbell Nebula

Finally few nights with no clouds!!! But a full moon and a heavy surface fog... But now I don't complain!!

I got few descent images of the Little Dumbbell, M76, a planetary nebula in constallation Perseus. It's distance is estimated at 2500 light years, and its size is only 2,7*1,8 arcmin with a magnitude of 10,1. Some consider this object to be one of the faintest and hardest to see objects in Messier's list.

Here's only 4hrs of exposure with Ha (10*900sec) and OIII (6*900sec) and a synthetic green channel. So hopefully there's some more to come..

Here's HST (Hubble Space Telescope) color:

And natural color:

And finally a 100% crop of the nebula: