Monday, 6 September 2010

Green eye

I bet there are not many people out there that recognise this object. To me, it looks like an evil green eye. Not quite as evil as the terrifying Mayall-Cannon 18! (Here I refer to Paul Money's favourite pics lecture part 2). I suppose it's possible to plate-solve the stars and if you did this you would find this object lies somewhere to the left of Cygnus. It is Abell 78 and there is a hint of an outer part below it. I decided to stick to RAW format for this one, where I sacrificed time and memory for less noise. It is a faint little nebula, only about 14th magnitude and spread over just under 2 arc minutes.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Little ring galaxy

This is the last image made with the big telescope before the mirror was taken for an emergency realuminisation. It's a wierd 'little' galaxy 72 million l.y. away in Pegasus, with a bright yellow nucleus and a detached blue ring surrounding it. There is a larger halo, that doesn't really show up in this image, comprising of 31 only 12 second images at f/3. I was having issues with the tracking so I had to keep the pics short, but on closer inspection, each image still had slight star trails or a touch azimuthal shake or wobble. You can see the colour of the nucleus compared with the star nearby. It's about a 7' x 9' field centred on NGC 7742.