Friday, 30 September 2011

The Jones Nebula

This is Jones 1. I got a good shot of it in my early days at Breckland Astro Soc. And again, on wednesday night this wipsy planetary nebula was picked up with some 30 second shots on the Atik 383L. I combined about 15 luminance (70% weighting) with 4 of each colour. The Red images showed virtually nothing. A very blue-green large puff of gas, with the central star the bluish one of the little asterism that has gathered there. The star is a white dwarf which is pumping out ultraviolet radiation that is being somehow absorbed by oxygen ions (with two electrons missing), and re-emitted at that turquoise wavelength of around 500nm that our eyes are particularly good at seeing at night. This thing is visible in a large scope, but only just. It lives directly above the square of Pegasus (well it does in my mind anyway).

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Bubble, (Hubble?), Toil and Trouble.

Well it was no toil or trouble last night to attach my modified DSLR to the 20" scope and collect some pretty pictures of the Bubble Nebula NGC 76-somethingorother (I'm getting lazy). - Sorry, NGC 7635. I want to learn all my NGCs but there are too many - some don't even exist! And this picture is certainly nothing like a Hubble view, not even a Hubble palette (which I don't find aesthetically very pleasing). However, it's my best shot of this thing yet, I have posted this object before. I thought I'd go back to DSLRing, for convenience, rather than persevering with the monochrome CCD. It was just 26 pictures and 13 darks at 30 seconds each at ISO 1600, and I was enjoying a cup of coffee during the continuous exposures, of which I rejected none. Nice when everything works!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

The cold dark world Nereid.

I blew up the contrast on my picture comprising 18 1-minute exposures on the Neptune area, taken on Sep 4-5, and aligned it with an adjusted Deep Sky Survey image of the same area of sky(inset). I flicked between them and saw a dot where Nereid was. Starry night pro was a bit wrong, but Redshift had Nereid in the correct place. This is a tiny moon!!! 18.7 mag. My photometric measurements showed it to be 18.9 mag. The main moon Triton (hardly visible in most telescopes) is bright and merged into the glare of Neptune in this picture.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Congratulations, me! This is post number 200! It just happens to be Barnard's galaxy. I thought we would be rid of opportunities to photograph things in Sagittarius before long, so, on an extremely rare evening when it was actually clear almost to the horizon, I took the opportunity to capture some faint, weird stuff with the Atik CCD camera. This weird stuff is a local, irregular dwarf galaxy, but if you look towards the bottom of the picture you can see three blobs of nebulosity, the one on the left looking like a ring. I haven't researched this object much, I just relish its obscurity.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

A long time ago, in a galaxy...

21 million years ago to be exact. Here's the thing everyone's raving about at the moment. It's when the light from this big bang, in a nearISH galaxy reached Earth. By ISH I mean 1,300,000,000,000 times further away than the sun. I think I spotted it in binoculars. Image from Sep 2 22:00UT. It's rather bright as these things go. It started when a white dwarf star sucks mass of its partner, which causes an instability. That leads to violent nuclear reactions, which cause an incredible shockwave that we are seeing now.