Monday, May 18, 2020

Thor's Helmet, NGC 2359

Al Ernst took this amazing image from the light-polluted suburban skies of Bridgewater, New Jersey. Being a long-time member of NJAA, Al knew exactly how to beat that problem.... by using Ha and Oiii filters he would block out much of that unwanted glare.
He took four hours of 10 minute subs to build up enough photons to produce this amazing image. Al's equipment for the job was his QSI-583 camera and his NP127is scope.
Thanks Al,

Thors Helmet, (NGC 2359 by Al Ernst

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The new phenomenon; watch the "Skytrain" pass by your neighborhood...

With more countries and companies launching satellites to get on the new gravy-train, having a peaceful night with your telescopes, watching the stars, will mean frequent intrusions by skytrains sailing past your dark sky.
Here is a video of Starlink in the evening sky taken by member Tim Schott from his eastern PA observatory. You'll need to make the video full screen on a laptop or a larger monitor to see.  The stream is above the trees and below the small star near the center. If you don't see it , try again looking just above the tree line.
Thanks for sharing Tim.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Coronavirus has everyone being very cautious

The NJAA Board Of Governors has decided to postpone any immediate meetings at the observatory. Our one March lecture has been officially postponed and the club's website will reflect the changes and our regularly scheduled summer public Saturday and Sunday tours are still posted as being open. Duty QO's have been (or will be soon) instructed to only let groups of less than 12 people into any of the buildings at one time, favoring loose gatherings.
Obviously time will determine further action. We are optimistic that the onset of warm weather will minimize the effects this virus will have and allow us to return to business as usual.
Thanks for your understanding,

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Hello astronomers in countries outside the USA...and Happy New Year!
I see that a large amount of viewers to this Blog are from Europe and Russia, with Denmark having the highest amount of hits to the page, followed by Russia, Poland and Ukraine. 
Thank you all for taking the time to look at our blog and again, best wishes for the new year and clear skies to you.

The Hellix Nebula from light-polluted Bridgewater, New Jersey

Al Ernst took this cool shot of the Helix Nebula from his back yard in Bridgewater, New Jersey a few weeks ago.  
It was taken through an NP-127is and QSI-583 using Ha and OIII narrow band filters.  
Subs were 10 minutes long for a total of 160 minutes.
Thanks Al,

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Panstarrs C_2017

In late November Al Ernst imaged the Panstarrs C_2017 mentioning that the "comet was pretty easy to see on my QSI sensor and 5" f5.2 refractor.
5x2 minute subs from Bridgewater, NJ"

Saturday, December 7, 2019

November 30, 2019 NJAA Honorary Lifetime Event Dr Mitch

On November 30th 2019 NJAA celebrated a long-time member and coveted "Qualified Observer"  (QO), Dr. Mitchell Revalski, as he repeated his PhD dissertation to a near full house of members, and guests from a Princeton Cosmology Group as well as family and friends.
NJAA President, Jim Roselli, welcomed everyone; and lifetime member Teri Bellows, his high school teacher and Astronomy Club advisor, introduced Mitch to the audience. She led with a well coordinated slide show of Mitch in his youth, always helping teach others through his passion with astronomy; which began in the sixth grade after joining NJAA.
The club also will produce a professional-quality video of his talk about galaxy evolution, with a focus on analyzing the supermassive black holes (SMBH) at the center of many galaxies.
Dr. Revalski discussed his research, saying that some galaxies, appear to have SMBH consuming gas from the galaxy, growing in mass but also shining as luminous Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). These phenomena are caused by intense ionized radiation released as the SMBH consumes the gas. The radiation interacts with gas in the central bulge, causing it to be forced away in a powerful outflow of excited gas.
Mitch explained that he focused on analyzing data from the Hubble Space Telescope and computer models to study nearby galaxies with AGN to study the changes in the outflow and impacts on the galaxy as the gas travels through it.
He also discussed the various techniques for determining the mass of the excited gas that can be used and how these techniques impact the conclusion of studies. 
After concluding, Mitch then followed with a question and answer period that many members seemed to relish; requiring that we call a break, so people could eat the large layout of food that Tim and Diane graciously coordinated.
But before people left their seats Keith Marley asked everyone to remain seated, then he placed a covered item on the table in the front of the room. He explained how proud NJAA is for all that Mitch has contributed to the club  through the years and how much more he will contribute to astronomy in the future ~ then he removed the cover to display a beautiful plaque, and announced that Mitch will receive an Honorary Lifetime Membership to NJAA.
It was a wonderful event.
Member Teri Bellows and Mitch ~ his HS Teacher and Astronomy Club Advisor

Mitch and NJAA President, Jim Roselli

Mitch and Keith Marley                       

Mitch and his mom, Patricia Revalski 

Keith Marley

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Max Pike attended our last Astrophotography/Research Meeting at the observatory last Friday, November 8th, 2019. He showed us a number of excellent images he took earlier this year, which follows below.
Thanks for the submission Max. Looking forward to more of your work.

Crescent Nebula,  20x10',  Ha,  Oiii,  6h 40m Total

 East Veil Nebula - 20x10',  Ha,  Oiii,  6h 40m Total

 Elephant Trunk Nebula,  20x10',  Ha,  Oiii,  Sii, 10h Total

                                     Ghost Nebula,  20x10',  Ha & 20x3' R,G,B  6h 20m Total

                                North American Nebula & Cygnus Wall,  20x10' Ha,  Oiii,  Sii,  10h Total

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Tim Schott's Image of the Fiddle Head Galaxy

The Fiddle Head Galaxy - NGC 772
A Unbarred Spiral Galaxy in the Constellation Aries
10" Third Planet Optics RC Truss
Losmandy G11
Nikon D810a
Easton, PA. USA
October 25, 2019